glad we could talk, my students came and enjoyed it—
later, i read some poems with Kenji Liu and Angela Peñaredondo
at the Kaya Press tent, and afterwards went round and caught
your reading at the poetry stage, where I saw the call
and response of “187 reasons mexicanos can’t cross the border”
caused passersby to stop in their tracks, turned their heads; they
drew forth under the trees to see what you were delivering
from the stage. this was before you closed, zapateando.
i should have joined you when they took you to sign books.
it started sprinkling, as it had been on and off all day
and like i had been, i was thinking about the lean girl,
my student who died two weeks ago, swept out by a wave
at santa monica beach, in sight of the pier and surely crowds
of hundreds of people on an ordinary saturday afternoon,
drowned. now there’s nothing to say about it, nothing to be done,
so i wandered through the tents, looking at the booths
full of books and booksellers, writers and readers, and
when i figured that we maybe still had time to talk,
i went back to “the green room” but i couldn’t locate
you—i did a circuit, walking through the crowd and the tents
in the off and on again drizzle, talked to David Shook
at Phoneme Books, bought his translations from the Zapotec,
i guessed soon you’d have minders escorting you onstage
at the award ceremony, though i could have let loose
the dogs of metaphor or raised a figurative hue and cry
as of metonymy, but let the mist in the air settle as it may.
thanks for the hour or more. let’s talk again! maybe
i’ll see Fresno, capital of poetry. hi to Margie!