At the first crack in dawn’s black eggshell, my neighbor’s rooster crows with a voice like rusty tap water. He knows nothing about childhood asthma rates from the nearby freeway, or the incinerator on High Street that burns up medical wastes and spews poison. He dreams of a harem of plump hens, but poverty has forced him to be monogamous with one scrawny, lackluster egg-layer, so he makes do like the rest of us. O inner-city rooster with scabby red wattles and tough yellow feet to pick through asphalt and pebbles, precious souvenir of my exiled ranchero neighbor who cultivates a towering cornfield on his tiny scrap of lawn and scatters birdseed at 6 A.M. before he leaves for the first of three factory jobs. Last poet of the lost barnyard in Mexico, with its dawn horses and clean air, you goad us with your call: Wake up! Wake up! The sun is rising! It is I, cacophonous prophet of morning, who brought it forth! How many times have I heard you from the gray depths of sleep, or waking alone in the silence of my own sweaty dream. Brother Rooster, displaced ghetto oracle, rouster-out-of-bed, world-jouster, like you I am directed to bugle praises to dirt and light, morning after morning, no matter what.