Public Promise
(After Julian Correa’s Mixed Media on Canvas)

P is for pigsty
blood-splashed underpass
incarcerated spatter
public sky, privatized
pistols, white-washed glyph talk.

P is for paint can
pregnant with probable cause
plosive as Pleiades
poised to punk the sky
with a phatter punctuation.

P is for pollos con puños
snapped to the steel rail.
Prayer drizzles down pilings
while Malinche points
to pocked promises, empty lots.

P is for prophets bull-whipped
in the copper plated jungle.
Purple mountains rise
in the pits of their stomachs
and from their peyote tongues,

phosphorescent scrolls.           

—Brenda Cárdenas, Milwaukee, WI