Marquez Night


Stained tea towel, charcoal bleeding into mustard,


       an umber edge holding the grime design together,


hung askew over the oven door handle


      in a garbage-rank closet of a flat


in the poorest street of an old town – that’s what is


             the yellowish thing that calls itself a summer sky


hanging a few meters above my head


    and low pressuring me to fall into love


in the time of cholera where I become


      the sinking stinking still air, where I am


the last bird not to die in the fetid drying river,


       where I hear my ghost-voice calling


like a manatee mother to her missing children


       late in the last night of a landscape scraped empty


of trees and their shadows, moonlight staining the river


       yellow, the banks yellow, the only boat yellow,


the moon itself the final exit – small round aperture –


            through which I will, watch me now, escape.