Peru

Peru

Dogs here live in the streets, the filthier the happier.
They neither obey nor have behavioral issues, unlike ours.

I received a Quechuan blessing in a Colonial church
and felt the hooves of Spanish horses trampling my home.

Followed by police, a gypsy woman stormed
the Plaza de Armas, stabbing the city trees with a shiv.

In Arequipa, a 500 year old frozen girl, clubbed
in the skull and offered to the gods on Mount Ampato.

Eduardo handed me a machete though I was only
joking. He taught me to make it zing through bamboo.

Deep in Peruvian jungles they grow wealthy on cocaine
and peddle the sacred coca leaf to sick tourists.

Looking back at Lima I flipped over my handlebars
and bit the sand of the Pacific. Pachamama.

by Ryan Dowling

The End of the Road

The End of the Road

You must have taken Highway 1 from the junction
at British Columbia and the Yukon, the Takhini
hot springs at Whitehorse—you must have been reborn
through a tunnel in the Rockies and turned left at Tok,
where a waitress in a plaid apron, tasseled mukluks
and beaver furs poured syrup thick as tree sap
over sourdough pancakes, and you eavesdropped
on two bush pilots, heard the forecast in their dispute:
cross-winds of tenacity with a spat of rain—
then down through Anchorage, Alyeska, Anchor Point,
shoulder to shoulder with a mountainous dawn,
until, round the overlook, you saw the arch of the Spit
cast out like a rod toward Halibut Cove, and the blue crush
of the Grewingk Glacier into Kachemak Bay.

 

by Ryan Dowling