From “The Tinajera Notebook
Synthesized with a common
by the exorbitant demand of work,
surrounded, inundated with chatter
as the zócalo is
when grackles descend en masse
whirring, wheedling, scrawking. For us,
every hour has become that
hour of riotous distraction
swallowing us when we leave
for the clinic or my translation
job and swallowing us again
when we return in the evening to
Mexican sitcom laughter.
A boy walks the cobbled
street leading a rachitic blind man. Lazarillo,
he calls the boy. But the chatter
pulls in all directions at once.
And then you and I are standing at the bus stop
near theater Hijo del Cuervo,
and a middle-aged woman is asking us
were we just there,
at the performance of Krapp’s Last Tape.
She holds a hand to her throat. It made me,
she begins, and then she uses a word
I’ve only read, aspirar. Aspirate. Draw in.
And in the thin light we see she is crying.