Their Bodies a Xylophone

My father blames them. 
No te andes metiendo donde no debes. 
Walls couldn’t save them
because they couldn’t be saved. 
Thistles hitching a ride
on an unsuspecting animal. 
No te andes metiendo donde no te quieren. 
Don’t go where you’re not wanted. 
Which would rule out the world. 
In the sun, laid out, their bodies a xylophone. 
Mira lo que pasa cuando te metes
donde no debes. Look at what happens
when you want to feed your family. 
In nineteen forty-six he crossed
the bridge as casually as ragweed. 
And never left. No oven of an 18 wheeler. 
No sealed crate to muffle sound
like a plunger mute. No darkness 
to drunken instead of water. 
I ask him how he is any different. 
He says, in English I can barely understand, 
I belong here. 

Copyright © 2018 by Rodney Gomez. This poem originally appeared in Poetry Northwest. Used with the permission of the author.