El Paso

El Paso 1

Cowpokes spun lasso diction
across a white girl’s youth.
Storefronts seemed larger
than they were just as
what I presented was flat.
A mustache on one man’s lip
stood for passion, on another’s
meant death. What was I to do
with the heavy weight of skirts?
A horse was a loved thing,
its eye-lashed eye the place
I could disappear to,
but not one day passed
that softened my face,
everything being as it was
choked by a west Texas wind.
Only the light held me, its grave
distance making me weep.
The air itself was brash,
and at dusk mestizo blood
colored the dirt with trouble.
A woman fast becomes a man
when the pressures are right,
but now, lifetimes later,
it’s the horse’s eye I remember.