Cross Bearings

The wheels descend. We arrive
late: dazed, disheveled, with nothing
to declare. Once past customs
I have only to touch my mouth
to break another unspeakable rule.

For an immense but negotiable fee,
a man offers to drive us south,
but is south the way we want to go?
Pivoting, I spot the kiosk
with coupons for an official taxi.

From the window, conundrums
of unsheltered life mutely unspool.
In the flick-flack of roadside fires
I can just make out the moth wing
portion on which most survive.

I close my eyes. Let the scene dim.
Tomorrow we’ll find amid traffic
a rotary shrine, a cacophonic hymn.
Tomorrow—a lingam of stacked tires,
a pilgrim’s offering, pulverized brick.
 
 

Originally published in Beauty Refracted, 2018.