I meet Chris while studying a clay fish, fallen

from eroded hillside, overlooking the city.

Astrolabe angles from eye, he follows a parrot,

a Carib cacique, and a snake—have I seen them?

I point to cloud, my kite, buoyed on trade winds,

and mention a snail, large as his head on tower

in rain forest. No parrots, snakes, or caciques.

Pig roasting on spit,

flies clinging to hide, if hungry. He burns

me with cigarette and hands me a certificate

for a cane field ablaze.  “How rude!

No gentil hombre,” fish says.

Mark McKain’s work has appeared in Agni, The Journal, Subtropics, Blue Mesa Review, Superstition Review, Western Humanities Review, ISLE, and elsewhere. His second poetry chapbook Blue Sun was published by Aldrich Press. He experiences global warming in St Petersburg, Florida.