This post features a guest poem by Adam Stengel, an American writer and traveler.
Dining Alone in Zorritos
Even my agua sounds way too Anglo,
so a third-party is needed to wet my tongue.
Like every night, I’m dining alone in the evening.
This place is a desert coast where every day
is Donkey Thanksgiving, where goats
munch from the lawns of the national bank.
The bulls, there, on the Panamericana,
terrify me with their heads, lowered and ready.
When eating, I hoped, for the folks back home,
to paint the gringo picturesque, but
that’s for guidebooks. Instead, what happened:
From the front deck of the polleria,
I witnessed a pickup pull in to the clinic.
Lying in its bed was a large man, dead.
People who’d been in the square gathered
and lifted his dusty body from the truck.
I just sat there, fidgeting, nibbling on chicken.
Sure, I wanted to help carry the corpse,
but I turned away. Even the goats watched.
I guess that means I’m still American.