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BOOKS & THE CULTURE Los Reyes Del Yonke /Junkyard Kings Carousel rows & heaps this is where they end without discrimination rich man’s poor man’s all makes all models we move through twists of metal step over dismantled Ford fenders & scraps of chrome shimmying in the sun like a lowrider parade we pull what’s useful & hard to find extravagant dealer items: oxygen sensors wire-wheel rims gold Cadillac wreaths paleontologists gleaning steel-boned sauruses that once prowled the great American freeways Usa la wrench es mas facil el cobre no se calienta como el metal buscak buscale sacak sacale esq asi es autos offer trunkfuls of futility treasures of other lives: one moldy tennis shoe a Playboy magazine circa 1975 nudes mildewed & musky pictures without names faces smiling as if seen for the first time sealed condoms regular or kinky rubbery entrails dangle from gutted engines smudging our hands with red & green oily ooze motor life sludge staining our surgical tools we hunt the labyrinths of steel hawks’ eyes zeroing on that one valued discard that has eluded the crunch the grind the rust & rot in perfect pose they’ve prepared for the exact moment of escape teeth bared to reveal precise purpose flanks flexed in midstride hooves bent at the right angle nostrils flared in flight waiting for the cue to cut wild ponies forever trampling empty spaces fixed on shafts of steel wooden hearts bobbing the way we, too, must move in ordained orbits the spheres of ourselves imagining every dip & turn until we have unraveled the very blood code of our lives drop by drop Fernando Esteban Flores FERNANDO ESTEBAN FLORES was born in Laredo, received a B.A. in English from U.T. Austin, and currently lives on the West Side in San Antonio. He teaches English at a local middle school and is an associate editor for The Red Palm, a bi-monthly literary magazine. His poems have appeared in The Americas Review, Wild Turkey, and Terrapin \(The Maverick Press, Eagle Ragged Borders, is forthcoming. There’s something wonderfully delicious about the junkyard excavations in his poem, something ripely redolent of childhood and coming-of-age and waking up to how much is cast off, all the time, around us. And why did I keep thinking of fat-cat corporations when he was talking about a simple carousel? Was it that phrase”ordained orbits”? Ordained by whom? And how often do those horses escape, once they’re frozen into their rhythms? Naomi Shihab Nye THE TEXAS OBSERVER 15