mazatlan

in the crisscrossing flashlight
we stole glances at each other
but not at the one who brought us there

careful though he was dead
not to let him see us staring at him

too embarrassed to ask
the one question waiting to be

lest he hear us
begin to speak of him
as an object no longer capable
of moving itself

abruptly slipped
fallen face drowned
on the cold night sand

his only movement now
the perfect turning
of his mother
earth
we all realized at once
had already taken him back
gravity bowing our heads
pulling down our hands
to dig him back in

1963,’73