Marquez Night

Stained tea towel, charcoal bleeding into mustard,
an umber edge holding the grime design together,
hung askew over the oven door handle
in a garbage-rank closet of a flat
in the poorest street of an old town – that’s what is
the yellowish thing that calls itself a summer sky
hanging a few meters above my head
and low pressuring me to fall into love
in the time of cholera where I become
the sinking stinking still air, where I am
the last bird not to die in the fetid drying river,
where I hear my ghost-voice calling
like a manatee mother to her missing children
late in the last night of a landscape scraped empty
of trees and their shadows, moonlight staining the river
yellow, the banks yellow, the only boat yellow,
the moon itself the final exit – small round aperture –
through which I will, watch me now, escape.

-Lilo Way

*Originally published in Poet Lore.

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