4. the bessy border

The cows hold cabinet in the road,
determining each passerby’s attempted paths
with stout authority. I wonder
what they talk about:
the inconvenience of humans
coming in undocumented,
the need to build barbed
wire body blockades, pass bills
around Jaya’s back?

My automan tries with difficulty
to appease them, maneuvering over empty
orange-rimmed Mirinda bottles, foil packets of Pass Pass.
We coax, we plead, we wait with the puttering
tuk-tuk of gas punctuating the air.
“Ai yo!” the automan shakes his head,
wiping his leathered brow. Exhausted,
I blankly look the largest one straight on.
He blinks his milky eye, considering;
he knows I have nothing to offer.

The fourth time, he ushers us in
when his colleagues aren’t watching,
swishing his tail with a thwack
like he’s stamping our passports.

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