Saturday Poem

The Chase

They say the chase ends where the earth is put together
by two halves, but no matter —because that is you
at thirty, perhaps forty:
corpus callosum of the brain,
two loaves opening and closing like a book.

Your arms spring out and lungs push and pull
rinsing the midnight air—
no matter, because you are there, chasing
the child of wonder and hope
through cities confined in smog.

You missile through firs, through mouths dusted
with mathematical chalk.
You follow the muddy-water spillways peppered with
bacterial spore.

Not the shadow that greets itself in the dark
but the utter collision of evaporating rain
leads you on.
Not the lightning’s sketch but the black puzzle of night,
as you appear and disappear among people,
chasing he who knows your name
but won’t tell.

by Victor Martinez
from Paper Dance -55 Latino Poets
Persea Books, 1994