Here is the scar where my uncle ran the forklift into the barn,  
the holes in the wall the result of rat-hunting at a dime-a-head.  

This tree's called Benjamin because the boy  
came a long way to peck his name into the silver bark.  

When I drove the mustang to the city of my dreams,  
there was only one café. Ranchers clicked  
their dominoes and pie sweated under a plastic dome.  

I played mistress in the capital of chandeliers and fountains  
--naked plaster babies pranced along the ceiling, toes  
and fingers blurred by temblores beneath the lake.  

Familiar landscapes admit legion possibilities--  
my fortune cast like coins from lighted windows.  

But in this city of strangers I am anxious, dully bouyant.  
These plazas and porticos draw no flourishes.  

What a farce of seedy tourist shadows. These leering  
icebergs swaggering, this reflection of my gargoyle soul. 

Copyright 2000, Heather Cauchy  

Heather Shaw has lived in Mexico, Spain, New York and New Orleans, and is currently raising six children in Northern Michigan. In 1999, she won the Dunes Review poetry contest as well as the Peregrine Prize . Recent work appears in Gumball and Rhino.