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On ridges of unfinished flat rooftops
teetering rails and exposed rebar wait
for a next floor to be built whenever.
Next door, busy shops, offices, restaurants.
Two blocks from Revolution Avenue
hard by cathedral tower, a doorway
hangs onto empty air three floors above
that sidewalk where crowds hustle and shove
ignoring whores and drug dealers and cops
who hunt them when traffic doesn't smash
the world in a thousand taxi siren fragments.
On the corner, sacred tables, carts, and
candle stands press against the holy doors
one of them hides under a white and red
street umbrella that sometime belonged
to the Hotel del Coronado.
Tourists blink from across the line.
Downtown Tijuana, buildings
half alive and packed together, a
quarter comatose, an eighth under
construction, a sixteenth just
plain weird, and a thirty-second
spot that flickers and repeats:
"Gimme gringo brain
fries with chile, please."