by Ken Hada

At the street fair
sweaty beer bottles gripped
with delusion
we hear his words
too cinematic to believe
it could happen in real life

but his turned-down face
downcast, teary eyes

confirm our collective sorrow
for him, sure, but especially for her,
for someone named Elaina
whose brown skin
and dark eyes

may never smile again -
captured forever
by the cartel
for whom she dances
for her life.

No romantic tourist
can afford to buy her freedom.
No regular Romeo dare fuck
with Mexican drug lords

so we stand together
on a busy street in Oklahoma City
dumbfounded by his story
stupefied in our impotence
our common male desire – cut off.

His voice chokes, quiets,
the tale is never quite finished.

Deadly silence squelches
the street vendors, the traffic around us.

We toast a young sweet captive
we have only heard about
somewhere in El Territorio
Sur de Baja California.


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