The Marabu Makes It to America After All

And the batá makes it to America
after all. After all his hands
swelled with each machete swing,
years of marabu chopped
and burned, the artisan
makes it to America after all

to fold napkins, butter bread,
spend work breaks pulling
goatskin taut into drumheads. After all
the alligator heads turn west,
the palm tree key chains straighten
their names and the tourists
queue for dinner and sunsets,

while the artisan battens
rattan ropes around the rims.
After all the port rests
a ship on her tongue, crates striped
like peppermints, charcoal lumps
absolved and absolving

the marabu’s relentless
crawl. Another governor
snarls. After all another lump
to trim the restaurant’s grill,
the artisan shaking
his hands in prayer, a turn
of the batá like an hourglass.