for Benjamin Alire Sáenz & Angela Kocherga

Scene I

EXT. Texas borderlands – midday

The picture in my mind is more

than I’ll ever be—

the hands, the wall, the kids

desert mountains make

blankets of sky

and thousands of miles away

across too many seas to name

history slouches back against

all this forgotten time.

How do you turn movement

into monuments?

The pictures on your screen are more

than you’ll ever see—

the crowd, the face, the land

the terrible truth

you can just about say.

What songs do these winds

carry, and how far

before they scatter out over

brown and white and grey?

I have no doubt that seeing

is believing, yet saying what

it is we see is something

different.

The poet tells us we’ve

misnamed this place.

What if after all

we’ve misplaced the names?

The painter says the colours are only

ever approximate—

there is no perfect form

for representation.

Even from outside

you might then be led to wonder

how the brown dead earth

gives life to such

immaculate green.

Scene II

INT. Dublin public house – late afternoon

Or is it night now over the river’s

divide? Take your time here

before you wander—

the other voice, the one you’re born with,

sits well in silence,

despite your living on its

confidence and confusion.

Not far from here and not

long ago (things considered)

an accent cut close to the grave

some say all that’s over

and some that it’s only sleeping

there is one thing I know that

we ought to tell the truth about:

the image on the wall is of a woman

who will never stay silent,

even though you cannot know her name.