Jodi Vander Molen

  • 324 Russell St.
  • Madison, WI 53704
  • Email

tiny cups of coffee

bouncing truck of tourists
full of
"I'm Angie from Chicago"
"He-LLO, Angie!"
everybody now

you say your name is tour guide Eddy
you say 1 Dominican second = 5 minutes
you say recycle our glass bottles
or else you'll have to pay
you say today we are your family

you say get your camera
to take a picture
of a very old tree

i try to snap where trunk meets ground

you crack a joke
or half of one
about proximity

here we have the public health clinic
now down the road a bit
look
here's the cemetery

overgrown with green
maybe 20 headstones
not arranged in rows

flashes of conversation:

the house over there
was built by Trujillo's son
they don't live there now

you graduated in '97
afterwards to private school

$2/gallon for gas here
How much in your country?
$1.63

what about the colors on the houses?
pink for san miguel
blue for peace

azul

Why don't they build them bigger?
Because they're poor.

time to look at one up close
we pay a visit

no introductions
to:

-the woman at the sewing machine
-gray haired woman just outside the door
-woman serving tiny cups of coffee

puppy passed around
seems like there's one at every stop

kids in the back of a truck
no men seem to be around

(The palm trees were watching us all.)

on the wall a sticker:
I'm not poor because I have Christ

down the road some more

you tell jokes in increments,
are silent past the mountains

bump, bump bounce
bumpbump bump bounce

beer break, cocoa farm, cockfight in the distance, lunch, rum shack, then the beach
with each finished
block of clock:

"My family,"
you'd shout.
"Time to get back on the truck."