Por la tarde—Choluteca

12pm Arid and black rooster Vulture-clustered roadside Gizzard-face dogs finish. Fruit stalls of black banana, Grey orange, gold tooth, Bags of beans, shoeless kids Burn plastic to the sun. 1pm The ants spew from their baking cracks Resume a sack of bar limes Almost steaming by the road. Deftly part the dust and rind From their last grip on juice. It never rains this time of year But may break this afternoon. 2pm Narrow dogsballs swinging in the shade (the ants would love to get at these) beneath their emaciated formings of bone. Trotting with long leather tongues Lace-worked in wound skins With promise latent Of vegetal moisture. 3pm In the kitchen I smell melon: A nice dozen pile the floor, An orgy of dozing tortoise On tile. In the afternoon heat, their shells Split shatter their backs Shower their juices. Insides bloom. 4pm Between the flowers newly browned One notes correspondingly The smell they impart growing As heat rises from the dead petal, The backbone of the mountains, And disperses in the clouds. Wind blows leaves through the patio. 5pm An hour of light Through the various cross-hatchings: A wood-wickered rocking chair, A man-eating hammock, The tallest tree to the west. Birds slowly circle the sky. Voice-less. Name-less. 6pm The wind is up, the power’s down And one walks slow To keep the candle burning With gritty feet sliding Round the creaking kitchen. Underground, the water in the cistern Is still warm.

Dominic Zugai