Urban Hymn

by Dan Murphy

                                            Es mejor vestir Santos
                                     que desvestir borrachos

If you lived here you’d be
                       homeless by now

Or own the liquor store by proxy,
                       poverty on firstname basis.

If you lived in full you’d be spellbound
                       with homesickness.

O, but we have the bellyache
                       these hundred years,

The nations we gorged upon, will not
                       dispel their dialects

Of shoes, transistors, Thalidomide and tonic
                       haggling for a fair price

At a market place whose stalls await
                       the rise of sun to turn the straw

In brick to gold.