Click here to listen to Jeffrey Bean read this poem.
It comes from gravel lots where the state fair pushes fried dough and bagged fish out the mouths of red-lit tents. It's pumped out of dunking booths across the blocks and into windows, up the stairs
of the apartment where my grandfather is
dying in a room of mums. It's the song of Sunday
traffic, the car horn's hot punch to which he
tunes his hymn, the last tune he remembers.
It's where the voices in rooms above him drift when
they cheer, or sing, when they ooh and ahh
or rise in anger, say where have you been,
when they call out for help or to mourn—even then.
It's La Cucaracha.
It's When the Saints Go Marching In.