i’ve become accustomed to the song
of cicadas in the patio
the nightly drop of avocados
morning’s race to get my share
before pirate rats taste them all; accustomed
to flipping fruit to find toothmarks in the hide
and never a glimpse of fur or tail.
i’ve grown used to the softness of air.
i’ve unlocked meso-american stylistics
as straightforward, vis tony
they mayan butcher’s profile. all art
is honest, as much as it can be.
and so, jesus the painter rages
some nights. some nights he loves sally
soft blonde california gal; some nights
he knows he wants to be her, oblivious
to privilege by which
she has a house to throw him out of.
i’ve become inured to the sidewalk
tss tss tss, how strange, i think
that knucklehead boy-men here
hiss like cicadas to telegraph lust
and i accept that here, for the first time ever
i am white.
maybe that is why the first maid –
the school insisting we hire house staff
it is the way it is done, we insult the community
if we don’t have house staff –
maybe that’s why she flipped out and quit
how could a white gringa like me
have the gall to paint and hang
an indigenous symbol. they take too much.
of course, when it happens
i’m told not to ask
none of my business, nothing to do
with me. since i don’t know where she lives
i cannot find her to ask; that, and
it never occurs to me at the time
that it might not be clear
i know who i am.