They stand in a line, legs spread,
arms held above their heads,
hands pressed hard into the side of the truck,
palms burning on the hot paint.
The border patrol officers in kevlar flak jackets
sweat and pace, wipe their brows, wait.
An alien lifts his boot to scratch his leg
and an officer slaps him with a stick.
A state cruiser pulls up and parks
in the weak shade of a mesquite tree
and a large man gets out, stands for a moment,
removes his sunglasses, and turns to the fence
as if there on the other side he can see Mexico
laid out like a cow waiting to be butchered.
Another alien turns and looks down
the line of greasy levis and dusty boots
toward the sun that drops
over the distant curve of the earth.