Thought Poem for Victor Martinez (Undelivered)

You said:

What you wrote (at this moment—here)
was being written by someone somewhere else
at the same time (this is the question) some
country some town on stilts—in a broken
concentration bus or a polished make-believe desk
a cheap jungled-up clinic an empty one no supplies
for the sickly aged children deep

in the
rain soaked burnt tree forest slapped together hut
smoked with holiness with festered branches
and malaria strings just maybe a promotor school
that short snout bus that takes us to a new arrangement
you said that

would you be writing that there
would you be living that there
why would you care to write that there in that
in that message without a message that
hunger known as life stuff where every damp speckle
and mud twig is the shout mouth hunger and that fulfillment
i do not know—
knowledge let us call it that right now
what else

could it be could it be that this gut water
inside burning its alphabet incomplete
calling for something you and i have
bread is it bread is it ink is it simply placement
the empty yellowing floor office

across from my 15th floor
as I tiptoe into the edge of it all tomorrow
i read at the university i stand up and read
someone else is standing up and reading
someone else is tiptoeing in a circle a palaver
a crossing station in Talisman en route to
Guatemala halted halfway by soldados a variety
a synonym where life splits and fissions
mind sequence pattern—reproduction silence

you move your arm and put
letters down on paper you move your lips
as you (but you are not here—are you—anymore)

spell it as you drink it as you breathe it from that
second galaxy (ah yes)
halfway down as I

breathe it up half ways up as she ambles
with an ancient rifle (the kind sold to Indians)
through the shadow greenness mildew heat selva
in that

human landscape spiraling no one knows

Copyright © 2016 by Juan Felipe Herrera. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 15, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.