Standing next to Pastor Von in Tijuana pouring
Shampoo into little boy’s hands felt like standing
Next to Jesus. The image of washing disciples’ feet
Filled my eyes more than once such that I fought back
Tears. All the brown boys standing in single file, waiting
For their turn with the master. All the stinking, filthy,
lice-infected boys—laughing and playing with their penises,
shivering, speaking in tongues I could not understand.
Von said over the years he figures he’s given 150,000 showers
To the children of Mexico. I felt like an orphan child of the dump
Standing next to him. Truly his crown will have many jewels.
We’ve come to Mexico for Thanksgiving. We’ve come
To lose our frenetic selves, our boss-cursing, morning-cursing,
Last night I walked out onto the rocks and thanked God
that I am here. The stars shown and the surf crashed. The sky
above was black and limitless and ancient. I stopped and stood
on a large rock, stretching my arms like a gull to the wind.
Waves crashed making the rocks chatter and clap like some
kind of audience.
The wind blew over my arms and face and through my hair
tossing it back. I craned my neck upwards to meet its force. I felt
like I could fly to the stars; fly into the ocean without caring about
the cold or my clothes or the rocks beneath the waves that could break my neck and leave me paralyzed. I wanted to forget all of
this. I wanted the Baptist’s baptism, with the stars and rocks as my witnesses. I felt, as a wave thundered below me, myself falling into
a rhythm as dark and ancient as my unborn self and I let myself go like I do when I kiss my lover full upon her lips.