Do you know what time it is?

A photograph of the top of a border wall and the blue sky above
Photo: Centrifuga / Flickr

after a photograph by Sally Mann and Detention Center Concentration Camps

evening fliesI always do		They sell candy crack pipes at the liquor store—where have you been? 			I used to be safe and 				sage among the wolves	Now this cage is too small  		And I move to live			So when I dream, I necklace storied playgrounds Under a pebble roll of clouds		I am a doe like a doe is a buck		Horns sprout through  my skull			I open one door			slide open another, then another and it’s just  empty warehouses			Piled high with Mylar blankets		But no one is running  									a marathon	except for us  And these mornings I don’t fall			The sky is a blue that hurts		The rectangle  			sky from a balcony I can’t see over			I see through it 		We’ve been falling from that sky forever			These mornings 												I leap	and  							evening flies


The child of immigrants, Vickie Vértiz has had work published in the New York Times magazine, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her book Palm Frond with Its Throat Cut won the 2018 PEN America Prize in poetry. She teaches writing at UC–Santa Barbara.