A pack of wolves we are
hungrily searching
any order lost in our frenzy to find you

I cradle the bundle to my chest, threadbare cloth providing her little protection from the elements. My baby drifts through the breaches of sleep and agonising consciousness.

Frayed and tattered we are
our minds diseased
by the dangerous lust you radiate

Limply lies a paper cup, an extension of my feet. Empty. The feet of those diseased by greed and selfishness collide with it again and again. I am estranged from the world.

Dying and thirsty we are
our faith in your quenching, gratifying
reality willing us to ignore, continue

One, two hours stagger by. Three Pesos are tossed callously into the embrace of my cup – the waste of people’s sympathetic pride. Three Pesos. They must be taunting me, mocking my poverty. Three Pesos will buy me nothing in this country of economic disaster.

Through dense forest we journey
its abundance and intricacy never blinding
but you never materialize

Money. Money clothes those who wander by, a glance at me, us, suggesting hostility, disgust. Faux wraps drape the necks of women, accompanied by cliché Mexican men with their full moustaches and ankle length capes. Money abundant, but they do not give so much as a glance. More is what they want. More money when we have none.

Bloodshot are our eyes
only will they droop
at the assuring presence of you

She begins to wail as a cloud of wind sweeps in from the west. I press her against my chest, lifting her to my face – a face no longer fresh, glowing the ochre of embers. Instead, it is dulled, burned to oblivion as of such suffering, the pain I must endure. My pores are brimming with the remains of soot. Ash. I am a mere memory…

Might we halt
to breathe sense
after miles of endless gluttony
might we halt
infused with guilt, understanding
inspired by Earth’s beauty, God’s mercy
might we halt
and empathise
with nothing; nothing

I glower with yearning as another twilight is born to the sea, glistening with soft rage. The rhythmic vibration of townsfolk music reverberates through the alley, and I picture rainbow ladies with their swishing skirts, spiralling into the arms of partners. My face, fresh and inspired by joy, gleams amongst these, my limbs twirling to a trumpet’s blow. A lustful smile tugs at my lips, and I am lugged into a daze. The sound of footsteps clacking upon worn cobblestone, I do not hear.

Amongst evil lies
compassion, generosity
salvaging those infected
by greed, recovering
inner beauty, benevolence
before the chase
begins again

Dreams fade, whisked off to oblivion – mine was destined this fate. The trumpet wanes and such colour remains no more. Shadows and the vandalised church walls are what remain. The clatter of coins resonates throughout the alley, the source – a plastic cup – a mere extension of the beggar woman’s feet. My cup. His eyes illuminate the darkness, signifying life. He has remembered kindness. Fifty Pesos now lie in the embrace of a ragged plastic cup.

One remembers

May they find what they want – my kind crumbling, whispering with the wind. May they find what they want – my kind haunting them, robbing them of their pride.
May they find what they want – but be left hollowing, suffocating with guilt.
May they find what they want – though recall compassion so often to do our pain justice.
May they find what they want – my kind a mere memory, an indentation on the church steps.

Shall we ever see you
and the maddened violence
of your peace?
or send us on a
greed-driven chase

for you

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