Sometimes the mountains look lunar. Here.
The dusty gray that covers everything
against the clean, blue sky.
It looks like magic. Only real.
On a clear day you can see the houses go all the way up.
Please go all the way up, with me.
You’ll see that the houses aren’t really houses.
the people are really people, like you and me.
So maybe the women don’t know how to read
Maybe their hands don’t recognize the curve of a lapiz. Yet.
Maybe the children don’t go to school
because some days the buses are full
because some days the buses don’t come at all.
Maybe there’s a father who doesn’t work because he is injured.
Or maybe there is no father. Anymore.
Only a mother and her eight children, in one room, with three beds.
Maybe the children are tired because they can’t sleep well.
They freeze at night.
I can’t imagine sleeping there. Up.
In the houses that aren’t really houses. It’s winter now.
Please go all the way up, with me
To where maybe everything living is thin, streetdogs and children alike.
Even the buses, when the come, if they come, are thin too.
To where there’s the smell of urine in the street and a dead dog.
And everything horrible that can’t be real.
I promise it is.
Come with me. Come. This is real. I want to tell you better than this.
I want to tell you it is better than this.
Here, where the houses can’t really be houses and the mountains -
they only sit there against the blue.
Beauty, here, is redefined.
It’s in the dirty little fingers pawing for your hand
And the hugs on your knees
It’s in the beauty of the smiles and the light in eyes
both young and old.
It’s in the swiftness of feet moving to meet your moto and follow you to class.
It’s in the volleyball games in the dirt below the cemetery.
It’s in the new friendships.
It’s in the way the mothers offer their houses to you
and give you nothing
because nothing is everything.
It’s in the tears of goodbyes.
It’s in the hope.
Yes, I promise it is here too.
And it's in the faith.
And faith, we know, “is being sure of what we hope for
and certain of what we do not see” –
Amidst everything that we do see.
Oh please come with me.
“Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
strengthen your stakes.”