From the eastern rim Jorgé throws a rock

into the deep and we hear nothing in return.

An American lady says as she walks away

that it’s a nice place to visit and her voice

trails off. And “breathtaking” says

someone else we’ll never get to know.

The Japanese teenagers stare solemnly

down while the people from France

speak in interested tones as they point

toward the west then north, south. Our

leaders are not here. We are ungoverned,

listening, needlessly, for the lost rock.

And I think of the old woman who told me

she could never see the joy in staring into

this large hole in the earth. “Give me a casino,”

she affirmed that day, “where losses and wins

are strictly defined, where my feet are secure

and chance answers back as clear as a bell.”

Jorgea puts a quarter into the viewer, moves it

every which way. The old woman is dead and

he is fourteen, seeing a country that’s not

quite his, living as if the world were all

Guadalajara, where he was born, trusting,

like home, this lovely and foreign edge.