You Wax Sausage Apparatus after Rain and Shade
Jack Butler

You don't really.  We all know that.  And this
is neither accusation nor directive.

There is no you.  It hasn't rained for days
here in this Arizona desert where
the immigrants walk thirty miles by night
only to die of thirst or get sent back.

Refrigerator magnets in his daughter's house.
The words seem happier in sentences,
although there are no words, although the words
when spoken slur and meld and disappear
into their neighbors, although all words are merely
a sort of momentary flicker between a thought
and a thought in another brain, although they die
to yield their meanings.  Downhill of his life,
a poet, divorcing again, he nurtures syntax
for no good reason where he finds it, and is
completed somehow, and grateful.  Speech is soul
for all its flimsiness.  The captured survivor
may very well say with a laugh to the border patrol,
me agarraste con las manos en la masa.

And after all he cannot help but hope
that one of you somewhere somehow will slip
away to the north and a good job, and send
dinero home, and though the world is cruel,
will clean and polish the sausage-works, and think,
one lovely evening, after the rain and shade,
relaxing con cerveza, con daydreams,
how happily the apparatus gleams.

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