Issue Eighteen - Summer 2011

Crossing the Andes in Early Evening

By Laurel Nakanishi

A saint swings frantically,
flinging her blessings across the bus.

I try to ask the woman next to me,
about the loaves she carries

and she thinks I want to buy them all.
Cattle wear the hills down to brown snakes.

What happened here?
My nose bled.

And then?
A drunken wedding party.

The host and bottle circling,
pushing the shot glass up to our lips.

Throughout that night in the red adobe house,
in the cow-worn hills, they asked me

Have you ever seen such poverty?
I took it as a kind of apology.

Copyright Nakanishi 2011