The Maya get arrested on South Beach
for sitting on a bench for too many days.
They’re patted down, hands behind head,
as though their pockets contain nuclear waste
and their backpacks are iPhones of destruction
with applications that will drain our bank accounts,
steal our women, and leave dog shit unscooped.
Even the rich man watching it feels bad, tells me
they didn’t have anywhere else to go.
That night I’m walking alone, drunk
on a mix of five countries’ beers.
It’s another night when just my presence
is a come hither, when my cunt
seems to be tattooed on my face.
I see the empty bench and I’m scared.
There are no Maya to watch over me
as though they had special
powers, as though I was important.
I do realise that I’m romanticising the Maya
and myself and that one day I will walk the streets
invisible, my old skin hanging from my
bones like money bags and the most
anyone will want from me is my wallet.
I just hope that same day the Maya
will be people, not just an image in a poem
whose arrest signals the end of civilization
or the rape of a rich white girl.