Emmy Pérez

Ysleta, Texas

Cottonwood crosses
planted in sun-
cracked mud: Inca dove
bones among olla shards.
In this desert, trunks of fruit trees,
crosses without names and all
are washed white. Gypsum.
Lime. Here, dirt is life,
shaped into utensils
and adobes – here, dirt holds
seeds soaked with irrigated
water, hoping to blossom.
Here, when canal water drains
hungry children dig in bottom
sand for crawfish. Dust storms
live in teeth, dreams and eyes.
Loose cotton blows over
empty fields months after harvest
and the roosters crow all day.
Every moment is torment
and sunrise.
My mother’s home
was a bowl made of clay.
I will perish into finding
all the pieces.

Emmy Pérez
“Ysleta, Texas” is from Solstice (Swan Scythe Press, 2003), and originally appeared in Rio Grande Review, Vol. #21, Issue #1 (2002).