Collision 11: April 2018

Trade Winds

Daniel Peña

They came to me on the sound of the wind
Behind the steel and rust and chipped paint peeling,
Tires rubbed to the nub, sloughed chunks that peeled off
Against the streets of Matamoros. All the kids
Who chased those slow moving trucks, those drug pilots
Who never drove themselves to work, those children looking for
Something to look forward to.

Sitting in a lime tree, I imagined they gusted in like the trade winds of Spring
Blowing overhead, their dust along with them.
As if the entire earth were relocating for better weather.
As if movement alone could feed them.

As they neared, the sound of them:
Those children that scared my brother.
Those children that didn’t sound the way children should, he said.

I waited, listened from the tree, heard the wind that doesn’t sound
Like wind either, noise filtered through drought-blighted branches
And browning limes
And traffic.

Like the sing-song trill of sliced wind (or a voice)
Knocking against fan blades at
Just the right angle.

All along Calle Camargo a chorus of suffering as loud as that wind,
But as soft as desert rain too:  
A burning jeep’s whinnying radiator,
A dead man’s wailing wife,
A breeze squall pouring in watery off the mountains further up Highway 2,
The hushed whistle into the bottle of someone trading breath for numbness.