UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY
MATHER SCHNEIDER

Bananas

After crossing the border at Nogales
we can breathe again.
Driving home through Arizona
her Mexican divorce papers in the glove
she holds tight to me and to the promise
of making money
like two porpoise-dreams pulling her
through a river of uselessness.

Sheís small and dark and lovely
and kind, and we can hardly speak to each other
but it doesnít matter.

So what if love
is a lie
where we agree to meet?

She feeds me pieces of banana with her little
terra cotta fingers
and laces the air with a silver-toothed smile
and tosses the greasy yellow peel
out onto the hardpan shoulder of the highway
while I drive under the raw Sonoran sun
and butcher my Spanish to tell her
what I think is important in life,
which doesnít take long:
letting go of shame.

We have agreed, we have
decided, we have been swept away
while letting ourselves,
and we have, somehow, slipped
through.


Scooter

Sheís thirty six and ugly as a gargoyle
every bad gene imaginable
funneled into her
like green beer into the mouth
of a slut
and here she is in my cab
with her Tom Selleck mustache
and her wine barrel figure
and her arthritis and excuses
and her peroxide blond hair frizzy
as death by chair
and her bound-sausage feet and Micheline Man legs
and two-ham ass
and blood-blossoms of acne
mixed with cheap make-up like
strawberry icing on her foul cake face.
She rolls the window up
and lights a smoke.
She hasnít had a job in fifteen years
just lets other people take care of her
like me giving her a free ride home from the doctor
because she hurt her foot
walking to the bathroom.
All the way to her government-subsidized house she bitches
because nobody will give her
a free scooter...
And when I get close to her house
I miss her street accidently
(Iíve never been there before)
and I have to stop and turn around
she snickers and snorts
like Iím the biggest
idiot loser ever
to limp
across the piss-poor earth.









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