Margaret Lanzetta, All City, 2012. Acrylic on panel 12 x 12". In the collection of Nawal Slaoui in Casablanca.
First day of sun after many without, a robin pulses on a branch
one among many in this second-story thicket, window screens
taking on gold, an inheritance, left-over from another season, red in the branches
of the not-quite dead.
I drive to the credit union, towards the late afternoon
skyline, dust and ozone, scrap-metal sky,
towards the Taquería Chupacabras, Los Billares Sandía, Lavandería Azul,
day workers pace the parking lot of the vacant car dealership.
A slave, it was explained to me, was worth more to a master
in the years before the Civil War than a freedman in the Jim Crow years
—thus, the prevalence of lynching.
Texas cities get a little lonely at their edges:
past Motel 19, Methodist hospital’s blue neon crucifix, refineries, Christ
of the Nations Inter-faith Ministries. Dusk pales
at its hemline.
Copper light scores the westside of my chokeberry tree;
buzz over live oaks, ignorant to how much weight these branches might hold.