Mexican American Sublime
From space the river is loose thread.
Frayed but clearly discernible.
A wall but not a wall.
At county, a jailer winds it around his neck.
Surrenders to unconditional embrace.
Some will use it for a labyrinth.
Others for escape as night dictates.
At the old Fort Brown emptied when a white woman cried
that a black battalion had committed the crime
of supposing the air could also be theirs
a room sparks as if drowned by gasoline.
Murder is too nice a word
for what was baptized in the water.
Now, at the little church overlooking despair,
a new kind of invasion replaces the old.
Children in sisal sandals.
Old guns call new guns to scour the shore.
In false panic
there is no such thing as empathy.
Copyright © 2020 by Rodney Gomez. This poem originally appeared in Zocalo Public Square. Used with the permission of the author.