- From “Tripe”
Up from Sinaloa, 1917, her mother came bird breasts to her breasts,
bra-pinioned wings, smuggling swaddled-tight cockatoos silenced
with coos & seed. Rosario, the entrepreneur, renter of tar-roofs
to gold-toothed cattlemen, vendor of raspadas bright as rosary beads,
stood over pit-fire ladling to sod farmers tripe & hominy.
Went by Chayo. Once saw her, years later, shake out her dress & molt. [End Page 108]
Summers—ran a hose for the swamp cooler. Cicada song singer.
Heavy metal John the Baptist. Spigot-spitter so sheets musted.
Climbed to it on a painter’s ladder tending the honeycombed
excelsior (once a green grass in Easter baskets).
Inside its panels with ratchet clicks, spoke to it
curses, chingados. It seined from skies lacewings & hornets. [End Page 109]
Brandon Som is the author of the chapbook Babel’s Moon, winner of the Tupelo Press Snowbound Prize. His poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Indiana Review, Black Warrior Review, and Octopus Magazine. He has been awarded fellowships to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. His full-length collection, The Tribute Horse, selected for the 2012 Nightboat Books Poetry Prize, is forthcoming.