On the Road VII

by Charlotte Hughes

by Irma Pineda, co-translated by Charlotte Hughes and Wendy Call

The buildings of my town cannot see
they are caught killed and stacked
they don’t notice the sun overhead
Has it followed me across the border?
It beats over their long hair-shingles,
dead and brittle, missing in places
I live under the flat gray roof
I am in the lit apartment, 33A

On the way to the desert the one
skeletal road is buried by sand the color of dried blood
billboards reaching up
like gravestones leading nowhere
lonely monuments
that are lit by golden arches
brushed with neon

Neon bleeds across the night sky
The sound of trucks on asphalt
is an ax sharpened before the cut
On my hall, a child calls for her mother,
looking through each peephole like a robber
or a bird trying to fly through a pane of glass.