Where Are the Children-César L. De León

Waiting for the Bus at the Central de Autobuses in McAllen, Texas

he wants to be a cloud       in the next life
pink nopal                   flowers
a mariposa

to follow               the gulf coast
breeze                                              he wants to be

a crossroads          a circumference
of twine the kind
that sheds tendrils

of himself

a draft

of wind the winding

himself                 the rushing

through     mesquite thickets

him     self

a lake
late October

that is a creek

that is a moth

that is a wing

that is a storm

that is         a        lengua

a chicharra

chant spiral    cresting

whippoorwill   calls

ball lightning

the caliche road home

the color            of not hurting




The Central de Autobuses in McAllen, Texas is one of the bust stops where immigrants and asylum seekers are transported to and from after spending time in nearby detention centers. My piece was inspired by a boy I saw there who kept looking up at the sky while waiting in line. The other piece, “River Escucha,” is what the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo showed me and told me the last time I visited.

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