Conjunction City by Edward D. Miller

Their heather gray epidermis
contains a small percentage of elastane,
ensuring a stretchy fabric
and
the steep shoes of tango dancers form their feet.
Their hair is blue like two-thirds of the flag
and
their irises are as pink
as 19th century palaces
painted by whitewash
mixed with ox blood.
They smell of almonds,
yet
it is so subtle that one must sniff repeatedly
to catch a nutty whiff.
Like anyone that knows better,
the ghosts prefer Palermo Viejo to Palermo Soho
but
you can glimpse flashes just before dusk in La Boca
or
even in an aged carriage of the subte at any time
but
only Linea E.
Though they care little for Evita
they crowd the shaded garden outside her museum.
Though they care even less for Che
they adore an unshaven man
whose brow signifies
the stretchy sorrow of fated courtship.
Because I asked, one banshee informed me
that they might trust the Pope
if only he indulged in the luxury afforded him
and
yes, they find humility itself tedious.
True, they can’t feel the heat,
but
they prefer the sultry months
of December and January
as they like to lick
the sweat off the living.
If they were able to sleep
they would have insomnia
fretting about inflation,
the yearning for the dólar blue,
and
the echo of the oligarchs.
Some hint that the ghosts
hide in decomposing Fiats;
others insist they collapse into
the stretchy bellows of bandoneóns
but
no one disagrees that they wait
for the light to slant
since they detest the dark
as much as the scorching sun.
Scared but entertained,
I witnessed how
a sweep of their skin
whittles the floor
without a change in balance.
Surely grace
and
wrath are the double helix that binds
and
forms their haunting. 


Edward D. Miller's poetry appears in Counterexample Poetics, Hinchas de Poesia, Wilderness House Literary Journal, The Boston Literary Magazine, Crack the Spine, Red Fez. and The Bangalore Review. He teaches media, film, and performance at the City University of New York.