Two Poems | Catfish McDaris

Image: Johannes Beiharz

The Mirage

Juanito screamed in the rain
and drank from the sky trying to
figure where he went wrong and
lost his way. He met a beautiful
maiden, they ate rabbit and quail,
soon she led him up a steep trail.

Billy The Kid

We could see the white butts of antelope
across from the Kid’s grave, we’d turn south
to the Pecos River to fish, swim, and party

I almost died twice there, once by drowning,
I dove in and hit a boulder under the surface,
my dad rescued my knocked-out carcass before
the river swallowed me whole; years later in

The back of a pickup partying, parked in yucca,
mesquite, and creosote bush chaparral, a rhumba
of tangled rattlesnakes attacked from the brush

People leaped out and ran like jackrabbits with
coyotes in hot pursuit, now days after so much
graffiti and desecration to Billy the Kid’s tomb-
stone, authorities have put a cage around it

Folks say Billy was so dangerous, even his
ghost might escape, the red caliche dirt roads have
hills of petrified wood, crumbling adobe churches
with faded white crosses and plastic flowers in
the church yard, tumbleweeds blown against graves.

Catfish McDaris has been in many magazines, books, and broadsides. He’s a 30-year small press and 3-year Army artillery veteran, from Albuquerque and Milwaukee. Currently Cat’s selling wigs in a dangerous neighborhood in Milwaukee.

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