The shock of continents.
Film over the eye, the steam
of Rio De Janeiro.
Airport tannoy drips slow evil.
Currency on short loan.
Gringo in each clenched fist.
Cristo Redentor, arms deadlocked scales–
good and evil in equal weight.
Carioca boy of eight or nine opens taxi doors,
heavy with the twisted spire of his head;
broken-windowed, limbs lopped trunks.
I offer Five Reals and no answer.
Eyes in a doorway,
his father had hoped higher.
After the Samba, carnival streets
black as gunpowder,
burning beef and rain-damp rice.
Carnival burns late.
The undead kiss in back-room bars;
fog like tongues finds Botafogan graves.
The Skol-sellers coil in their shells,
hammock their bones on Two Real notes.
Dream of coconut skinned green.
River washes its mountain dregs,
shanty bulbs pop like poor Christmas lights,
eyes put out one by one.