A Day in the Life of Brazil

A Day in the Life of Brazil



Rio de Janeiro swarms with the noise

of meat cutters, mariachis, and mothers

calling their children away from overflowing

fire hydrants -- the water's too cold,

hurts the mothers' skin to see it

on their children. Over the borders,

oil and drugs and revolution float

in the air like the souls of dead dogs.

Up the Amazon, the ghost of

Elizabeth Bishop smells coffee


brewing, tries to recall some Portuguese

but can only come up with someone

else's memory: the South Shore Mall

in Bay Shore, Long Island, and young

Portuguese women sausaging all size bodies

into new spandex mini dresses.


Elsewhere in Brazil, a girl from Ipanema

worries that the African immigrants

aren't getting enough to eat, or enough

healthy foods to eat. She kneels before her

imported statue of the Virgin Mary

and whispers, "I taste you every time

it rains, and it is never enough."