Operation Pedro Pan

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Be not afeard…

This is the man with the tight black beard
that cascaded curling to his nipples.

This is the man with the strong teeth
and the belly laugh flashing full of teeth.

This is Aníbal, who in this country
called himself Rich. Rich,
who towered over me; Rich,
who arrived first, in a red Coke t-shirt,
and when they opened the hatch
onto a blizzard, laughed
and laughed at the sugar
spinning down; Rich, who vanished

into the mountains for a while,
and came back, and smiled;

Rich the careful, the claims adjuster,
the trembler, then the trembler,

gnawing his finger to remember
the Tempest prayer then in his rage

misting us with spit; this is Rich
with a scabbed paper scalp
and his liver seeping diazepam,

the right half of his face white as cloud,
his dry lips slowly wrestling
around the clear tube—