Cibola 74

Esteban (4)

Right at dusk–his quick meal over,
the men settling into a game
of dice played with bones
(whose original owner he decides
not to inquire about) the African hears
what sounds like flute music
trickling down a side canyon
a quarter mile off. A brief phrase
ending in a question mark.
Again.
Once more.
Each separated by a slightly longer pause.
The exact blend of exaltation
& sorrow, he thinks–someone
like me.

And no one else pays it
any mind–no one looks up,
there’s not even a twitch
from the dogs’ ears.
They raise their heads only
when he gets to his feet:
Stay. I’m just going to take a leak.

Which might have been true,
had he not caught a glimpse
of a figure darting between shadows
up by the first bend of what,
he guessed, would turn out to be
a cul-de-sac, a box canyon.

(To be continued.)

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