She must be milked every morning so that she will produce milk, and the milk must be boiled in order to be mixed with coffee to make coffee and milk. —Gabriel Garcia Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude Imagine the years being sucked out of you, the losses so numerous you counted gains instead: the shiver of holy water, your quinceañiera, burnt cedar, the faith in the cross- town taxi in Mexico, not knowing derecha from izquierda. Think of all the shattered glasses, cursing the sky, women you keep yearning for. You taste the slow arrival of the moment only to watch it fade anxiously. Now think of absence, staring at some beast in a field and saying never have I seen this thing in front of me. When the cow moos you will understand the simple lexicon of the green in its mouth, the dynamics of the jaw like nothing you can’t recall, have never seen. And what impossible eyes--unlike yours-- swelling with your losses and successes; they too are losses, ready to escape your skin like the sweets of a piñata, the dull thud of the instant still there, when you realize that to know this beast by name is to lose this beast, lose it hopelessly in the catcombs of names for other things: the coffee bean, your blood, the ripe guava, penitence, the left bank of the river, crumbling, where you learned cow from awkward profile, milk-heavy, its one eye, reflecting.
In the pewless church of San Juan Chula, a Neocatholic Tzozil Indian wrings a chicken’s neck. Through piñoned air, stars from tourist flashbulbs flame, reflecting in the reddened eyes, in the mirrors statuary cling to, inside their plate- glass boxes. A mother fills a shot- glass with fire. Others offer up moon- shine swelling in goat bladders, the slender throats of coke bottles, as if gods too thirsted for the real thing. The slightest angle of a satellite dish sends me to Florida, where the sleepless claim the stars talk too much. They stumble to their own worn Virgin Mary whose eyes, they swear, bleed. Florida: rising with its dead, even as it sinks into the glade. Meanwhile, a coast away, the heavenly gait of Bigfoot in the famous Super-8, voiced over with a cyrptozoologist who’s all but laughed at the zipper-lined torso. Bigfoot trails out of California into my living room, a miracle in the muddled middle ground of the event horizon, in the swell between each seismic wave where time carries itself like Bigfoot: heavy, awkward, a touch too real to be real. And the miracle cleaners make everything disappear into faintly floral scents. Miracle-starved, out of sleep or the lack of it. I keep watching, not to see Bigfoot but to be Bigfoot, trapse through grainy screens, and the countless watching eyes, the brilliant nebulae bleeding. Yeti, pray you come again, you Sasquatch. Video our world for your religions. Memorize all these pleasure bulbs, these satellites, our eyes, our stars. Look: how we turn each other on tonight, one at a time.