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outlaw
by Chellis Glendinning

there isn’t a poem on Earth
that can capture your wild rough bid

I shouldn’t even own a pencil

I should crawl over glass to Father Roca

you pull up my road the gravel is crackling

it is all so mundane so unforgivable of God
to send that river by your woodstove orchard
full moon climbing over La Madera mountain
ringtails curling around our ankles

begging us to just give up

I am slipping into my white dress
I am eating your tortillas
the smell of Vietnam is oozing
like cheap wine Bud Light capulín
the roar of red flags

on the edge

of the trees
of possibility
of this life

your pistol is ready
that one finger beyond the set
you say you are not afraid to die


Chellis Glendinning lives on an organic farm outside
Sucre, Bolivia. She is the author of six books, including
Off the Map: An Expedition Deep into Empire and the Global
Economy, and Chiva: A Village Takes on the Global Heroin Trade,
both winners of National Federation of Press Women book awards.
March 2013