Letter Home

In the thin post office I mail a postcard
about when we will be coming home.
Maybe never, is what I want to say.
I am staying abroad to find my fortune
or a native lover to have children with,
to make a contract with my brother-in-law
for exporting figs or twine, or a used car lot.
We could sway to the music. An inch
from obscenity, my brother-in-law could frown
then say, It’s all in good fun. He would pay
for the sliced ham and chard and run us up the coast
in his taxi. He would find me Charming.
I write I need money to come home.
I may have to stay and work on the shanty part
of the island, drifting from ill-suited employment,
then to manage a singing group. I say the weather
is Peaceful. That the moon hardly comes out
due to clouds. The light from our teacups lights
the night. Home is the only place left
singing like a buried little shell.


People stack their shoes like shells drawn into a pile,
as if by boys burrowing for snails. Some sling
their sandals casually over one arm. There will be
dancing once we set up the cardboard dance floor.
Gummy and pleated with all those feet. A piece
of cardboard taped to a crate is where we ask a fee
for entry and a donation for the spiked lemonade.
The girls are in printed dresses, floral
and herringbone, and glass-colored plastic beads,
or cigarette pants, navy or white, and shell tops
with nautical prints or shells on them.
The boys are smooth. They are elegant.
There will be artists in there, and girls
want to mingle with the pink set. A tent
of night eyes. A mass of bodies clanging
in a wet night. The mud roof collapses
into the tin. Our room falls over.
Then, the party is in full swing.

as seen in Chaparral