BRIDGE OVER A BONE RIVER
by Lollie Butler
In a border town built on drought and tourista dollars,
I walk through stalls of silver and tequila while along La Fronter,
two men and a woman lie flat, handcuffed.
One will not live to be deported.
Crossing this bridge over a bone river,
each became a Christo, carrying the cross of his body.
And in the end, god became a tree, a lizard or a cloud.
When the sun over Sonora hammers, every living thing
is pummeled back into the earth where it waits
for nightfall to rise and howl.
This is a siesta town but it is my country north of here
that sleeps. Under our eyes the nameless dead collect.
We will awaken when a migra’s rifle fires or when
the ghost of compassion returns to ask
what good we’ve done with our inheritance.
One wears a ragged shirt, the other a baseball cap
and one wears a crucifix around her neck. I might forget
them had I not seen their faces as I drive north toward home,
silver bangles cold against my wrists.