Anniversary of the Eclipse

Alejandro Colungo

Mather Schneider

Eclipse, August 21, 2017

I drive to Hermosillo solo
through the midsummer inferno       it’s the day of the eclipse
like a preposterous sentience behind the sun and sky
will slide open a peephole
to look down at us
for an hour
or a hundred years     I arrow

toward my sweet Yaqui girl
through the creosote and nopal sweep     I can already smell
her vanilla bean neck and burnt
mesquite thighs     I stop to buy a coffee
stare straight down at it
circle of black with a white halo around it
that a bird drops a crap into
from somewhere above my understanding     what the hell
I drink it anyway     laugh in the shadow
from a cloud shaped like a coatimundi
and give 10 pesos to the boy who
cleans my windshield so I can see clearly

the haunted immensity of Sonora     the male host
on the radio warns people in Spanish
not to look directly into the sun
you might go blind or see spots forever     there are things
we just shouldn’t see     the sliding disc
of our mortality     a wheel fighting for traction
in empty space     I’m coming I’m coming
don’t look up you might float away     when I get there I will put a finger

to her hibiscus lips     kiss her
in her darkness     black as her wild crow hair     black as the moon
trying to block the sun     a lady calls
the radio and says she’s pregnant, will the eclipse
make her baby come out
cleft-lipped?     the man tells her

con favor de Dios no but better play
it safe and stay inside     cover the windows     and all
the little brown children hypnotized by the idea
of something mysterious and dangerous happening in the sky     the land

loses its distinction and the colors dim
like a crepuscular perversion     a blurry
Bacanora dawn    I lower
the visor     listen
it makes no sound     then slow-fast the eye

behind the sky withdraws to wait
another hundred years
or an hour
to come again    
and the world is different and the same     they say you should not travel

on the day of the eclipse
should not eat or take a nap
but I have to give this necklace to my love
in Hermosillo     (silver with little turquoise eyes
on tiny bear claws)     and we do not have
much time    


Mather Schneider at EIL

Book Review of Mather Schneider’s A Bag of Hands at EIL

More art by Alejandro Colunga at EIL

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