The toughest guy on the street sells frilly pink socks for infant girls
My neighbour doesn’t smoke weed anymore
In the inky dawn a mariachi blows his trumpet across the sky
It floats to the doorstep, where he now sniffs solvents, all night blank
The same sad señora pushes her little pile of carnitas across the griddle with a spatula
Day after day after day.
People ask, “Why do you live there?”
And say, “It’s so dangerous!”
“Aren’t the rents high?”
Sometimes make suggestions of supposedly more amiable neighbourhoods
Where many foreigners live
Or far-flung reaches of the District or Mexico State
Where rents can be had for a pittance.
Dank mattresses lie on shady corners, fraternal indigent homes
Walk around to avoid the maguey stench and across to the peripheries of the Alameda
Where old men have no wives but
They have chess
And a jaded Mick Jagger look-a-like
Has cars to wash in a parking lot on Cuba Street
For coins that keep him out of the January cold.
I want to be immersed, engulfed, lost and found in swallowed anonymity
But usually I just say that I like it and that
The rents aren’t so bad in the centre of
The navel of the moon.