La Cachiporrista

Because I can’t take a photo through the bulletproof glass
as our car eases to the corner that merges with the highway,
where a chop shop displays its wares of cars quartered
to fenders, grilles, rims, spoilers—I will have to remember
the man’s hooded eyes, as he watches from behind the wire
diamonds of chain-link, the whirling wrists of a teenage girl
in a majorette skirt fashioned out of half-inch-thick strips
of cut newsprint, the fringe swaying with her hips
as she twirls a baton of broken broomstick
in circles, wrist over wrist, and tosses it high as she
turns to catch it fanning behind her back; and the sun’s light
pressing on the square patch of a roadside garden
of black-eyed Susans, zinnias, and dahlias in plastic
gallon jugs and rusted tins, the halved car tire that serves
as a trench to keep out the leaf-cutter ants that could easily
strip the lime sapling bare in the course of one summer night.

From Matria (Black Lawrence Press, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by Alexandra Lytton Regalado. Used with the permission of the author.