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On the Bus To San Cristobal De las Casas

Legs cramped, neck screwed down,

not lonely though sick of bouncing,

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I listen to a baby cry.

His head is a bathysphere,

his face is as brown as a coffee bean.

The jungle drips everywhere

except inside this clammy bus.

We rise and fall on macadam roads, hug

the seats, observe the slash and burn.

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His mother has beautiful oily hair.

He twists in her arms,

grabs fists full of air

and scatters them like seeds on the driver,

who, scratching his shoulder blade

with a ballpoint pen, aims us down

more steamy mountain switchbacks.