How to Look at Mexican Highways
1.1. No one is waiting for you.
1.2. In case someone is waiting for you, you can always explain
the delay later.
1.3. Blame it on the traffic, no one else knows that you chose to walk.
2. Don’t look at the pavement, look at the things that you don’t see
when you’re indoors.
2.1. Water towers.
2.2.1. Cables bringing other people’s voices and faces onto
2.2.2. Cables bringing electricity to light bulbs and
2.3. Laundry on clotheslines.
2.4. Empty cans of food.
2.4.1. With flowers growing out of them.
2.4.2. With cactuses growing out of them.
3. Feel the waves surrounding you.
3.1. Waves bringing other people’s voices to the speakers of your
3.2. Waves of street sounds.
4. Measure how fast you can run up and down staircases; compare that
to the speed of the cars driving by.
5. When you tire, stand in the middle of the overpass.
5.1. Look down.
5.2. Try to look ahead, attempt to delineate the city’s skyline.
5.2.1. If there’s too much pollution, look down again.
5.2.2. Hold on tighter to the rail.
5.2.3. Stay there a bit longer; remember no one is waiting
5.2.4. You’re not going anywhere.
6. Through the rails you will see stories unfolding on the street.
6.1. Pay attention.
6.2. You are not they.
6.3. They are not they.
6.3.1. They are one plus one plus one, indefinitely.
7. You’re surrounded by monads going somewhere.
8. There is a purpose to their movement.
9. Desire is a Federacy.
Mónica de la Torre, “How to Look at Mexican Highways” from Talk Shows. Copyright © 2006 by Mónica de la Torre. Reprinted by permission of Switchback Books.
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Poet Mónica de la Torre
POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic
Poetic Terms Prose Poem