Stefano Resta
Cosmo Del Barrio

Your fatherís fatherís father, Don Perro del los Perros,
was a legend in Mexico City; a proud
and non-discriminating descendant
of many mixed dogs himself, he made love
to even the most wretched bitches from
the muddy alleyways under tin-roofed
barrios of that vast & dog-filled city.
Short, tall, hairy, hairless, snot-nosed, forlorn,
some like pigs, others quite beautiful;
he loved them all gloriously
and gave Mexico many children,
abandoning them all to lead the revolution
of the beggars and thieves.

Your fatherís father, El Hijo Zapata Abandonito,
was born in a bramble of bushes by a river
and barely survived his birth, his mother killed that night
by a drunken bus driver and left forgotten
on the side of the road
near the plains of Leon.
Also a renowned lover,
your fatherís father moved to the hills
of San Miguel de Allende.  He gave liberally
of himself to the scraggly,
spot-eared, malformed, and coyote-like
dogs of the region.  It was there he met his first true love,
Carmela Maria Margarita Hoatl Martinez,
a gypsy mutt from Veracruz who first showed him how to hide
in the golden and opulent churches
and taught him of the finer cultural activities.
At her prompt, they followed the trails
to the city of Guanajuato to hear the famous musicians
sing ballads of love.

It was here that your own father was born,
el Perro Benito Centenario Don Julio Juarez;
he was born in the spring
in a small garden under the statue of Pipila
as church bells rang throughout the city.

Your father traveled to the north, searching the dusty outskirts of town
for adventure, love and random scraps of meat from the vendorsí carts.

He traveled over the volcano belt, the pacific ring of fire,
rode trucks through the Sierra Madre and Sonora plains
living on cactus leaves,
hiding in fortresses, keeping warm at night
with the tiny Chihuahua or the nude sholo.
He met your mother, Luna, in the north, a beautiful
terrier shepherd goat bluenose blend from Torreon.
She was a generous bitch, delivering a litter of eleven
on the eve of each and every equinox.
You, Cosmo, were born the first in her first litter of fourteen
under a taco stand,
your own conception resulting from an experience
that kept them locked together for two hours.
When el Perro Benito Centenario Don Julio Juarez,
your father, was eaten in the open marketplace of a border town,
your mother, and it was in her love for you,
traded her hot magic to the three-legged wild rat scavenger Lupe Puto de Mierde
only to smuggle you across the Texas border.

I tell you this now, Cosmo, to help you remember
your own parentage, your origins.
You made friends with conductors
and rode trains into California,
journeyed north to towns with names like Santa Barbara,
San Leandro, Santa Rosa, escaping from the clutches of the police
and looking for your own lost family.

You were captured, finally,
and thrown into a slaughterhouse in Healdsburg.
It was here that we found you, shivering, wild, dirty.

That was five years ago today
and now you sit, in front of the warm fire,
legs elegantly crossed in front of you,
Cosmo del Barrio Resta.

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