for Maria Muñoz
Rain refuses to wash the day.
A woman steps from a city bus,
makes her way through wetness
to the house she’ll clean, her back,
her knees feeling the bend
in other people’s rooms. Nothing
in the furniture she polishes
reflects the language of trees
in Zacateca. Here, the bottle brush
is difficult to pronounce, although
her children prosper among
the aspidistras. Quetzalcoatl
lingers in their catechism,
mingling loamy soil,
the feathered air with
promises of salvation.
Who but a god would rise
from the sea in silver armor
and plumed helmet? How the open
heart extends its innocence
as faith! Beware! Beware!
The world is over-run with saviors.
Under every bush a terrorist
lies hammering his hungry plot.
She will fold the laundry, empty out
the trash, take the payment due,
walk into the rain, the overcast,
the waiting world, her bus.