My Brother Outside a Cantina at Night, Mexico

by Jerry Ratch



On the mantelpiece

suddenly there it is

the picture taken of him


in his thin, swanky

black leather jacket

out on the town at night

in Mexico with his girlfriend


Holding a small cheroot

in his hand

with his palm upward


His head turned in profile

looking at her as if to say:

“Is this cool or what?”


The hair well over his

ear and collar

Elvis Presley sideburns

At the height of his power


enjoying life after

closing a deal

on an empty building



There is something

about the way he's

holding that cheroot

between his thumb

middle and ring fingers

with his palm held upward —


relaxed beyond reason

outside a loud cantina

casting shadows in the warm

brightly-lit Mexican night