George Wallace









The road leads north across the desert until there is no more road only the border wall and that is patrolled by another man in a jeep who throws no shadow. It is the age of helicopter steel. It is the age of the drone and the vigilante, it is the age of fear between men and men, and some men are hollow, hollow as a metal jacket. We do not need more men like that.  We need more men like this man waiting for a change in the weather in the desert heat. This man, his hands are shaking with cold, his heart soaking up the world like bread and water. He is a man only a man, but he is making plans to defeat a wall another man has built. And he will defeat it. Kiss the ring and call it holy, where there is work there are men, because th ere are mouths to fill and the means to fill them. Seal a man in a cactus shell, toss him over the Rio Grande. He will open it up and he will climb back out again.

No one can separate a man from his work, not even a president. A man is stubborn, a man like this man anyway. His breath escapes his body like cold fog, his old life was a prison his new life is a dream, dreams don’t die and you can’t keep a good man out. He’s a leather glove and if you toss him out of a car window and leave him to die his fingerprints will just crawl out and he will keep on coming. He will bounce back, he will cross your fucking border and stand on the corner until someone comes along to give him work and he will nail your roofbeams and spackle your walls, he will put the hinges on your empty coffins.

Cross your heart and hope to die. He is unapologetic, a double fisted immigrant, just like your grandpappy was. His name is Coyote, this time. His name is America.





god who gave men to grow fertile in valleys and alongside streams, yellow with the yellow sun, bending with the breeze in spring; god who made men of maize and gave man dominion over everything on earth, except each other, so he taught us to share;


god of a god, who made man to worship god in man, not man, and certainly not possessions, to give,not receive, to come together, not separate; god, god, brown as soil, godgreen as corn, god who protects fields from drought, who cradles livestock


like newborn, who irrigates, seeds, puts fallow fields to the torch and teaches men to share; los cruces of gold, los cruces of gold! and what shall blood and ownership avail, except madness of treasure, in the desert, in the mountains and in the rich alluvial plains,


poplars torn, flesh poured out like wet concrete


and a border wall a thousand miles long, a thousand miles high, a thousand miles thick, death to dust, mother to child, son to father and heart to heart, this wall you seek shall not avail, no searchlight beam, no humvee no drone no electric fence nor wedding party lit up in flames


an army of men can keep men out


no earthly force but love, which has been given us by  god
no earthly force but love, lay down your weapons, border patrol
no earthly force but love, and the power to tear down walls












GEORGE WALLACE is author of 31 chapbooks of poetry, editor of Poetrybay, and co-editor of Great Weather for Media in New York City. Poet in residence at the Walt Whitman Birthplace, he organizes events locally, appears internationally, and is a prominent performer on the Neo-Beat poetry scene across the United States.




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