Diana Saenz, Writer

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a bird flies south


a bird flies south



it begins in the northeast and flies

to mexico, it flies south

to the state of mexico

it flies south to the city of mexico


it flies over calle canal

it flies over La Frontera

it flies over coyoacan it lands

over the ramshackle barrio


of Miguel and Adriana 

a girl just turned thirteen

riding the bicycle

Miguel gave her


she is one moment

gliding down the knobby hills

she is never before so free

the bird is startled


not by the wind in her hair –

from the spin of the tires

from the moment childhood is

carried off in a rumble of arms and legs


a shout in the neighborhood

a window is witness

the curtain quivers from

the sight of the crime


the bird flies south

as the girl is herded north

through a poultry run

amid other stolen souls



the layers of traffic

are painted on the walls

of basement prisons

and hidden walls


dotting the horizon

little financiers that

good uncle the enterprise

the girl is taken to a field


for eighty dollars 20 minutes later

returned, still a virgin

in the corner of the van

the girl shivers from the memory of it


the Internet is employed

where the bidding begins

between World Traveler

Little Buddha and South African Master


the cold spinning rock of the moon

weeps for us

we see the path of tears on its face

its frozen face so comforting


the girl prays never harder

in her life

her prayers are the promised

scent of orchids


the many prayers of others

are whispered that night

the girl prays for her buyer

to be a kind man