[wpaudio url=”/audio/december12/Alexander.mp3″ text=”listen to this poem” dl=”0″]
El niño and la niña run hot and cold,

stirring the currents, flinging their black hair,

swinging on wind-driven whorls of eastern rains,

flooding Peruvian coastal plains and washing out

shore roads, making mud pies of pink adobe caves,

breeding mosquitoes, witching fevers, floating

small corpses down the sandy ravine. If people will squat

by the waterways, the dancing children say, they must perish

in the rains. Back to darkness, our lisping children say,

washing their robes in a slanting storm, blunting the stars,

laughing at the quavering mules sliding on the ruined hills,

the old ones counting their broken teeth, the wooden crosses

listing in the gale. Hail. These children carry tumbo

on their dripping heads, shaking the green pulp down.