54: Dancing in Buses

February 7, 2019 · 5:00
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Dancing in Buses
by Javier Zamora

Pretend a boom box
blasts over your shoulder. Raise
your hands in the air. Twist them
as if picking limes. Look
to the right as if crossing
streets. Look to the left,
slowly as if balancing orange
baskets. Bend as if picking
cotton. Do the rump. Straighten
up as if dropping firewood. Rake,
do the rake, Sweep,
do the sweep. Do the Pupusa-
Clap—finger dough clumps. Clap.
Do the Horchata-Scoop—
your hand’s a ladle, scoop.
Reach and scoop. Now,
duck. They’re shooting. Duck
under the seat, and
don’t breathe.

Hands behind your head.
Drop down.
Look at the ground.
Roll over.
Face the mouth of the barrel.
Do the protect-face-with-hand.
Don’t scream.


“Dancing in Buses,” from UNACCOMPANIED by Javier Zamora. Copyright © 2017 by Javier Zamora. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press.