On the Bus To San Cristobal De las Casas

Legs cramped, neck screwed down,

not lonely though sick of bouncing,

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.

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.

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