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San Onofre

ISSUE:  Winter 1978
We have come far south.
Beyond this, the oldest women
shelling limas into black shawls,
Portillo scratching his name
on the walls, the slender ribbons
of piss, children patting the mud.
If we go on, we might stop
in the street in the very place
where someone disappeared
and the words come with us, we might
hear them. If that happened, we would
pass our lives with our hands
tied together. That is why
it is enough to listen
to the soft wind jostling
the lemons, a dog chewing a yellow
kneecap in the yard, knowing
that while birds and warmer weather
are forever moving north, the cries
of those who vanish might take years
to get here.


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