Evening bike ride to San Antonio Juanacaxtle

An Excerpt

by Lisa López Smith

There are the last whispers of the jacarandas’ pale purple glow,
fields faded, the soil freshly turned.
There are the houses half eaten alive—naked, brooding & dark,
and the gusty roar
blinking back tears
on the downhill.
Past the Cataluña gas station where the white stone colossus,
Christ the Redeemer-style, has outstretched arms to embrace
the Pemex gas pumps below, the plastic bags are strewn like windblown
ornaments on barbed wire fences and
mind the pothole
we cruise along the highway with traffic lights but no intersections,
past the spot where the freshly hit horse laid—
and when we returned an hour later,
there was nothing left but the blood stain.

Distant diamonds glitter across the pond, alive with birdsong
and a lone cow lows across from the flower-laden narco castle,
which isn’t really owned by narcos, but is conveniently
only a few miles by tunnel to the Federal Pen which couldn’t hold El Chapo
the first time he escaped.
The open-air talavera shops under torn tarps are enveloped in artful dust
and a shiny new colt struggles to its feet
on the pastures of the Seminary Hill of the Jesuits—
that breath heavy, lungs aching hill! A roar of clouds,
grey glimmering, rounds the corner
where humidity collides with mountainside
and evening swallows swoop joyfully for the last bugs of the day.

To read the rest of “Evening bike ride to San Antonio Juanacaxtle” by Lisa López Smith, buy The Canopy Review Issue 2 at the store.

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