hey, cowboy, let me see your face

the scar where pain still lingers from

a broken-necked beer bottle brawl

the teeth gone bad and yellowed like old paper

from the chew you cannot swallow

the whiskers like a patch of stiff,

dew frozen weed from

too many early mornings

the ravenous etching of an ugly time

drip down below your eyes


your eyes, hey cowboy, let me see your eyes

or are they set too deeply ‘neath the harrowing ridge

of your high wrinkled dusty forehead?

let me look into your eyes

and see the passage of dim whiskey

settle down to aching joints

or the light that drained through your thick thighs

into the heavy, hairy well

of a sweaty, wet-back chicano whore


you’re old, cowboy, old and dying near the grave

your broken fingernailed and

cold split hands have dug

you’re old and what you were you never were

and what you never will be

you soon will never have the chance to be again


you’re old, cowboy, you’re old and you won’t

open up your eyes to let this

imitation of an imitation

booted and jeaned

young fool of a bastard

look back

and feel his father’s flesh

or hear his mother’s cry

Views: 68


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