Bobby walks the stone crosses
of the Terlingua Cemetery,
scuffing fine sand
into miniature dust devils, his ball cap
tilted back from his forehead. Miller
steps into the center of the road; a lizard
hurries below his boots into the ocotillo.
Bobby turns his back to the sun,
boot heels planted. He draws first,
his bottle a flash of amber.
Miller staggers, falls like a gunslinger.
Bobby twirls his beer bottle.
Great setting for a western, Miller says,
beer balanced on his belt buckle, legs
flattened next to a grave
marked Paz. A road runner darts
into the mesquite, his narrow skull
little more than an arrowhead,
a relic of feather and bone.
Al Ortolani states, "This poem is from a collection of narrative pieces, Cooking Chili on the Day of the Dead, which will be released from Aldrich Press later in 2013."