In Cases Involving Children of Visa Petitioners,
the Calculation is Complex 

by Jim Davis

Emily Post would turn in her grave, if she could
hear through the dirt. It’s a clear violation
of Victorian etiquette to ask even benignly
for birthing papers. A woman in robes
says to no one beneath the street lamp: the thing is:
we’ve been weaving blankets from hair, our fingers
stiff and blistered from the stitching. We, between
the beams of our classic 80s skyline, have unearthed
a Polish population comparable to Warsaw.
Did you hear that? He raises his hand to the class
and explains, in some shattered accent, like he’s hiding
a tongue full of glass, that his mother
was a database manager who fell down the well
of factory work, still clings to the well’s lip
with stiff, blistered fingers from sticking
her hands into a clay oven on the west-side,
baking bread for hot water, and pizza dough.
And the dark haired beauty in the front row
has left her spouse in Nairobi. She pauses
for a moment
at every open window. Look what I ended
up doing, she says, nothing. Although maybe
this is what God intended. A baby moans.
Espera, mi amor. Te quiero mucho.
Do you know the symbol of Durango? As if
the scorpion were not already tattooed on his arm.
The accordion so prevalent. Shaking maracas.
His boots made of ostrich. La dulce vida.
And the wind whistling through the wood slats
of broken, boarded windows.
Finally, we are left with only this:
A mother bathing her child in a washbasin,
soft light in a cabin window,
snow blowing across frozen Soviet acreage.     

JIM DAVIS is a graduate of Knox College and now lives, writes and paints in Chicago. His work has been selected to appear in The Ante Review, The Café Review, Chiron Review, Midwest Literary Magazine, and Red River Review, among others. In addition to the arts, Jim travels the world as an international semi-professional football player. See his artwork at www.paintstrong.com.

1 comment:

  1. A rich tapestry, woven with economical restraint. Bravo!