“God does what she wants.
She has very large tractors.”
– Robert Bly
It is the first time Jesús has planted, and
his haircut is on backwards. His eyes are
little birds, hinged at the wings. His hands
spend their days combating eagerness.
Give him a shovel. Give a boy with poking eyes
an extra hand to carve his name in dirt.
Some boy’s house fell into its own pit here
and made hole-homes for rat-friends,
for pawned treasures and secrets that never
got redeemed. Jesús can make time with a shovel.
Make it march backward. Stand on its head.
Do tricks. Blink back nobodies. Earth is a bag
to hold heaven, and Jesús is a hole’s best friend.
Big sister Milly (one leg over the fence into babies,
the other still in diapers), hands him a tomato
with its web roots of tiny feathers. It is a small
bird fallen out of heaven. It is a troubling
miracle, that rests a moment in Jesús’ palm,
cupped between the thumb and the dirty nails,
until his knee bends, his hands
swoop down, and his fingers
release it to freshly drug earth.
Patrick Cabello Hansel has published poems, stories and essays in over 30 anthologies and journals, including Hawai’i Pacific Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, subprimal, The Ilanot Review, Ash and Bones, Switchbackand Lunch Ticket. His poem “Quitting Time” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His novella Searching was serialized in 33 issues of The Alley News.