Rayito de Luz, Ecuador
My neighbor said they didn’t get electricity until 2000. I asked her what they did once it grew dark. Sleep, she said.
Near the border of Peru, we turned around when we saw the sign about land mines.
We packed pipes and hid in shadows. The music was loud. We passed around a bottle. A man from Chile approached us with a cardboard guitar. His face was scarred with joy. The city so dead with rest.
In a town without running water, in a town of wild pigs, I slept on the floor. I was visiting a friend whose father mailed him a gun. Piece by piece, one by one. He gave the local kids jerky and told them it was monkey.
We learned how to open beer against a table. Against the arms of chairs. We learned how to open wine with a shoe. We ate eggs daily. We bathed rarely. We plucked mangoes from the trees and brushed away the bugs.
In the middle of the night I went outside and saw dozens of frogs. They were making enough noise to poison the rain. Through the cracks in the fence, the wild pigs snorted and sniffed, looking for an in.