Spring 1982 • Vol. IV No. 2 Mexican Poems |

The Monkey

In Chiapas, at the edge of the rain, we begin to feel sick—nothing violent but an insinuation in the bowels. Don't drink the water, we tell each other. Don't eat the pork dripping on spits in the street. Don't hear the cries, the bells. But we have come too far. The kites have sighted us and the nightjars talk in our sleep. Insects we cannot name climb up our legs and dig in at the groin. We were tourists, we thought, but the pitchy air has settled in our throats. On a rained-out road, we come to the monkey, gesturing, scratching himself, and shrieking, his muzzy belly bulging with fruit, his cock cocked. He dances ahead of us, a scurvy guide leading his party of two, deeper and deeper in.

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In Chiapas, at the edge of the rain, we begin to feel sick—nothing violent but an insinuation in the bowels. Don't drink the water, we tell each other. Don't eat […]

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