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.