after Eduardo C. Corral’s, “Border Patrol Agent”


across a counter, over a wall, around
my back, the rustle of your arm, your hand,

casting off our clothes
like dried skin

shedding even
our dried skin,

snakes made
moist, made new,

all we can offer is a dream,

tongue to tongue. Perhaps
all contact is too much.


A man might
reach across a counter,

over a wall.
There might be thirty years

between his life
and mine, perhaps

he slept
two blocks from me,

his head exactly
607 feet from my head

each night, every night
both of us dreaming

that same dream


A man reaches
across the counter,
across the bed,
his hand reaches
over a wall.

His arms around me. Warm.
His body has weight,
beating, alive.
His breath
moves my hair when he says
I’m sorry

For everything my nation
has done to your nation

My eyes near the stain
I’ve placed on him,

a stone that carbon dates
back centuries

I am sorry for everything too.


All for the feel of you
that never leaves,
the small bite of your kiss, the gentle
sandpaper of your hands,
a pile of clothes strewn.


Perhaps some walls are higher than others.
Perhaps clothes can just be scratched off,
flaked away, perhaps memories too.

There are five seasons on your shoulders,
five cuts made to the pride of you.

We walk along this path
where our fathers walked,
yours, mine, both, together,
yesterday and
a thousand years ago,

pressed to oil, pressed to wine,
always somehow pressed.

The trees reveal their silver undersides,
the stones that once covered their roots,
the tears that watered both.

There are snakes amongst the thistles.

God is always hungry.

Prairie Schooner. 91.4 (Winter 2017)