Trucker


He says to the truck stop stray dog, son todos

bichos, bicho, knowing he is the bee,

flower a diesel engine—extinction

and exhaust indistinguishable from the cost

of labor. Tio Mario was a pig farmer

before driving. As a kid, he caught bats

in nets strung from chicken wire

and branches. He’d hold a creature’s face out

like a holy cross to his cousins—San Roque,

San Roque que esos niños no me toquen.

They lit cigarettes, fit a filter

between the creature’s little mouth

to make it smoke. Every bat’s breath

was a fury. That was childhood, field ecologist

pouring old engine oil onto good earth

and drinking the groundwater below.

Some things are best left behind. Jobs

are redefined. A semi-truck

watches its driver beat his wings

like two wipers against the torrential rain.

The blind do not unionize against sound

logic. A giant hand reaches in,

clips a wilted flower—no quepan

los insectos, bat navigating in echoes.

Smoking hulk pipes through the night

on auto-pilot. And the driver side-saddle

to its replacement, hangs by the ankle

from the exhaust pipe like a wet flag,

looks down at a sky full of stars below him.

Copyright © 1999 – 2020 Juked