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.
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