“Karl Marx… had in mind Texas.” – Saul Padover
I like to watch him seize a post hole digger and breach
into red red earth, then stop to roll morning’s first cigarette.
Together we uncoil bobwire, a new invention, and dress
New Braunfels in thorns. The planting season is only part
of a global revolution. Every year, the red sun, sweat.
Karl is a vaquero, and a good comrade in the fields.
When he looks at me and says Brother there is a better world,
I believe him.
I like to ride next to him on the cattle drive, so sugary
the way his hips move in a saddle, and the man can whistle
like actual springtime. We make nightfire on the llano.
Saltbush, scrub oak, one scorpion glittering like a pistol.
Coyotes mourn among rockspires.
Karl wasn’t always going to come here. Trier, London, Saint Petersburg.
But look at him, brushing the mule, whispering whatever
gentle words calm a startled, burdened beast, his voice
so tender it makes me think of hot tortilla, eggs, lovely midday fellatio.
He tells me before we can revolt we must be revolted. That in wetness
there is relief, and a sickful turn of my stomach, and Karl tells me at last
My body is my own and not my own. My heart is the same.
I ask him what is only mine.
Your lungs, Brother, and he clutches into my hand a perfect round stone.
And this, which I will give you now. When you are ready, and the Man
rides by in his motorcar as he always does, and the yellow sun
makes you want to climb out of your skin, and your spine
splinters under the weight of all this grief, and hell itself
would be better, all you have to do Brother is throw down
that rake and pick up that stone and Brother
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