Border Crossing

Border Crossing

by Samantha Prust

Red trolley wedged
in the coast’s maw
rumbles down, down, down and stops
where bodies line up and cross the border
into Mexico.

Taxis pull over to curbs slowly
like smooth sharks
nosing their paths
among tan calves dangling
from a surface of clear, waveless water.

Smiling, you weave through yellow, green, gold
and silver masks reflecting the sun.
Devil dogs’ tongues wag in the waves of prickly heat
as you notice the best selection of lawn ornaments
you’ve ever seen.

Plucking a skull here, a flamingo there,
Dropping shiny coins into the women’s open hands
makes you feel much better as you watch them
wind, pull, loop and tie threads into bracelets
that you snatch for a dollar each.

Grinning politely, you whirl around and step
neatly into the customs line, serenaded while you wait
by a child wailing “La Bamba” as she picks her nose
and nudges a sombrero
with her bare toe.

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