• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 11

Calle Perú, Arequipa

Confounded travellers
expecting dancing and salchichas for a welcome,
instead find the casual trade
of plastics, textiles, and bodies
soundtracked by buzzsaw traffic.

This doorway of mine
inset from thoroughfare
and footfall,
gives me room to watch the passing
misioneros, ingenieros, gringos,
to chart the landscape of their Pizarro faces, conquered by this street's world.

Blanketed here, I am closed
like a national border
like an Aymara song
like a bloody history,
I am a world away from those who pass,
heading for the market on Calle Perú.