E. At The Zocalo

Ernesto Trejo

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At the small zocalo,
sipping beer and bored:
sunlight was a fading scribble
in the West, the heat was ascending
like a saint, the empty streets
going nowhere, the signs urging no one,
the droopy leaves like rags.

I'm not sure. Maybe all that silence
spilled out of the church, maybe
the blank sky, suspended,
was the stillness of my life and
that moment was the many afternoons
in the dead center of the wheel.

Then, first on the highest cross,
then on the eaves, on the unused balconies,
on the trees and the telephone lines:
the sparrows and their flapping
filled the little world of the zocalo.
A clouded wing or a black cape
coming finally to rest?

I don't know what followed. Maybe
they kept raining down like stones; maybe
the silence was only inside;
maybe the sparrows were dust in the air,
stars, the black gloves of happiness,
the speech of God.

Or maybe, you know, they were sparrows,
because hours later when the East ignited
and caught on fire they left again
in silence for the fields
and I stood up and left that bench
to warm up my hands, to pour some coffee
over them, to make them come to see
as eyes: not to obey and sit still like hands.

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