My stars are the crossed shive-lights hanging over an upside-down ageless land,
where the trees are thick closed canopies, and the birds are bright
like paradise. Where monkeys howl, and macaws call.
It lies at the headwaters of the Marañón and low lakes of the Ucayali.
The “pirates” pilot peke-pekes up and down brown vanes
of swollen silt, and my “Indians” guide dugout trees.
My tale does not imagine tables covered in empty plate entrees,
and steaming bowls of make-believe Bangerang pastel cake;
the foods too good to waste on delusive hunger fights.
My story is filled with tree banquets, fruits so perfect,
ripe and juicy jungle food. Tangy papayas, plump piñas,
and mangos form memories of tasty flavor parties.
My Neverland is filled with tales of adventures,
of playa camps, bullet ants, and battles in snotty ooze.
There’s swimming with pirañas, midnight hunting alligators,
and I could write a song about hooking a giant tiger-tuk.
My band of barefoot-boys built bamboo forts,
armed with little bows, and fought some marble wars.
We explored the caño paths and walked up to Machu-Pichu.
Those are just a few stories from Peru, and some of them are true.