Paul Jones has published poetry in many journals including Poetry, River Heron Review, Broadkill Review as well as in cookbooks, in travel anthologies, in collections about passion, love, and in The Best American Erotic Poems: 1800 – Present (from Scribner). Recently, he was nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and two Best of the Web Awards. His chapbook is What the Welsh and Chinese Have in Common. A manuscript of his poems crashed on the moon’s surface in 2019. His book, Something Wonderful, became available in November 2021 from RedHawk Publications (and your favorite bookstore). Also in November 2021, Jones will be inducted into the NC State Computer Science Hall of Fame. Jones is Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the North Carolina Writers Network and a member of the Carrboro Poets Council. http://smalljones.com
Death Came For the Cardinal
At the airport, someone mistook me for Yanni.
But someone else was already on to me.
Maybe it was the side trip to Trotsky’s
house after getting kicked out of Frida Kalo’s
for taking those pictures through the windows.
Even now, who knows. We were met by Hermano,
the most massive man in all of Mexico.
In all black, he looked like a welcome shadow,
a shade in the hot Guadalajara noon.
The kind of bodyguard always on a phone,
always patting something in his jacket,
alway looking past you while looking at
the reflection in your eyes, your glasses.
He drove fast without stopping. He had passes
for every gate and each controlled roadway.
All the drama seemed like overkill to me.
But just a few months before, he told me,
the Cardinal took a hit here on his way
to see the Pope. They shot up his limo.
The killers mistook him for El Chapo.
Or maybe they had been government men.
No one was sure of the holy man’s sin.
Only that his death came quickly, like hot wind.
What matters to everyone is: it happened.
By kids, killers, well-armed and mistaken.