Ever feel like you’re in a foreign country
in your own home town?
In Another Country
These streets are mine,
But I do not recognize them.
The signs read, “La Primera Parada Café” y
“Brisas del Mar Salon”
And I am transported
From my street to un otro pais,
Where barrel tiled faded orange roofs and
Soiled orange plastered painted walls
Become a desert backdrop
For rolling litter, plantas rodadora,
Street tumbleweed of crumbled papers,
Posters announcing promociones especiales de hoy,
Upcoming musicians, y tax preparar.
I listen, anticipating a coyote’s howl,
I watch heat rising off the asphalt,
My mind bobs and sways
With the loud-speakered salsa’d scratchings
Rising and falling from the old “Todo Por un Dolor” store,
The one with clothes hung on rusted metal racks
So far down on the calle que you have to push them aside,
Like laundry left to dry, in order walk by la tienda,
Y los perros sit in-between the tops and bottoms, and grunt,
Their panting tongues drooling y hanging down.
Dark skinned people;
Men con pequenos bigotas, small moustaches,
And open, stitched, and flat bottomed shirts,
Criss cross from car to cafeteria
Carrying café back to start their cars and their days.
And the roundy women in their blusas blancas,
Scurry, like armadillos, in and out of salons, con
Their chubby hands protecting their nuevos peinados,
I buy myself un café and settle back
Inside mi coche,
And watch este nuevo mundo entirely unfold
And rápidamente I become una parte de este worlde,
Without a passport, without my wanting,
Me han cruzado la frontera.
(I have crossed the border).