Living In The Mystery by R.T. Castleberry

A line I discovered in a book
is a reading on a broken sandal,
maps for mining,
the motorcycle death of Joaquin Murrieta.
A message from Hermosillo
carries me to a canyon cliff,
boats in flames on a river,
in a revolution.
Fire and firing react to the walls:
a spent shell sears a bare foot,
shadows are smoke as sails divide in burning.

I remember her dancing for the band
in fetish heels and feathered fedora,
silver wheel bangles flaring in the lights.
I recall her widow-veiled,
glaring at a sunset cloud through
a rain-streaked car window.
A decade passes
and the Morelos breeze,
musky beneath a quarter moon,
seems her scent of Givenchy and Gitanes.

The pilot fish are doing
a mean business on the median,
bartering passports, pot, machine gun parts.
Downwind from a storm, the solo diners sit,
vests printed with sword and manacle,
horned half-mask of rope and wire
hooked on a supplicant’s seat.
Random as mercy,
assassins compute a pay scale–
straight muscle to murder.
An aide for the State Emergency fingers
a sauce-stained tie, a Smartphone text:
bring back the inheritance watch,
the shape-shifter’s kingsnake charm,
landmarks, latitude and longitude.

Corrido written to resemble
a scorpion’s scuttling stalk,
Murrieta races the border along
a one lane, lava bed road.
The search ends at a Speed Twin Triumph
burning in a canyon’s mesquite.
Three Parabellum shots to the chest,
head and helmet gone, map cases missing.
A decade passes
and the Morelos breeze,
musky beneath a quarter moon,
seems a scent of Givenchy and Gitanes.
Her husband calls for the children.
She refreshes her wine,
waves them to the patio.

My work has appeared in In Between Hangovers, Your One Phone Call, Roanoke Review, Comstock Review, Green Mountains Review, Santa Fe Literary Review and The Alembic, among other journals.

I am a co-founder of the Flying Dutchman Writers Troupe, co-editor/publisher of the poetry magazine Curbside Review, an assistant editor for Lily Poetry Review and Ardent. I was a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee. My work has been featured in the anthologies Travois-An Anthology of Texas Poetry, TimeSlice and The Weight of Addition. My chapbook, Arriving At The Riverside, was published by Finishing Line Press in January, 2010. An e-book, Dialogue and Appetite, was published by Right Hand Pointing in May, 2011.

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