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Stuck in La Fortuna with a broken motor cycle
By Hans Jorg Stahlschmidt

Some mean devil knocked over

a gigantic bottle of bleach last night

now all calles, casas, even the few mulberry trees

are an iridescent white that burns my eyes.


I wait for the Blue Bus Line

the one going inland into cooler mountains

but everything here goes into the dried-out creek-bed

lovers, tire tracks, urine.


I swipe the flies off the tortillas

call for more ice

but nobody comes, nobody cares.


In the concrete courtyard

the innocent dreams of children shrivel

while the parents drink from Tequila bottles

or masturbate behind blistering shutters

in darkened rooms, where even Jesus looks

down unmoved from a gold frame

between candles and pink plastic flowers


The sun screeches along the cracked walls

everyone is alone,

old failures crawl along the walls

with the lizards and a lone scorpion

sleepwalks across the floor

all traffic has stopped

the promised bus doesn’t arrive

there is a faint yelp of a dog

too weak to bark or attack the shadows

that move excruciatingly slow across Plaza San Miguel.


Many more days with coke and ice that melts

in an instant and my skin turning

to leather hanging loose around my bones

and my insides disappear

and I am unsure I will ever be found.

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