A man in a Chicano Batman shirt skated along the border. He was going back to the U.S. Instead of waiting in line, he ollied over the border wall. As he landed, he crossed himself.
Then he went to Alberto’s Tacos. He ordered a California Burrito. When he was in México that summer, he had enjoyed plenty of authentic meals, but now that he was back in the States, he craved a Pocho classic: the California Burrito. Carne asada, fries, pico de gallo, sour cream, and a bit of salsa. He was set. It was delicious. When he finished, he rode to the bus station and headed back to Southeast Los Angeles. It was the last day of winter.
A Poem in Which Everyone Survives Until Dawn
As in the hard heart // of an avocado, the part we cut
around, // amputate, curse // when what’s left isn’t enough
to sate our hunger. As in that // beautiful roadside bouquet
bound to a guardrail // meant to celebrate loss, to warn us
It was the summer an IU student had disappeared
off the sidewalk and been sucked into the night air
of our town. Before leaving for college ourselves,
we beached Camille’s pontoon boat one last time
on Lake Monroe. We hurried down the sandstone
until our chipped crimson toenails teased the water—
that black lapping edge where we shed our clothes
and waded in until our limbs floated up,
by yes I mean maybe perhaps possibly could be
at some future time to be determined—
who knows—by me
after the runes of bills with gibberish in six-point type safely shredded
spam messages from Mumbai, Shanghai, Lorelei threatening
prison or promising a f*ck buddy, all deleted
They’re meant for aspens and dense brush,
idle fields gone tall with weeds, then the gun
and tables laden with cakes and silver goblets
You, leaping from the limestone bluffs of Pueblo Reservoir,
are suspended a moment
with the pelicans, white K-Swiss laces fluttering, red life vest
Mrs. Lucia Rainbow grows the neighborhood’s best begonias for sport.
Bucket at her feet, spritzer bottle in hand. Crickets float
across the bucket crest on a cupped leaf, one upright, the other stooped,
On the 4th of July, we confuse gunshots and fireworks
As in this conflation of sound causes a parallel of death.
As in the body flattens on concrete. As in the body roasts on tar.
Calves ache from the stillness. The tongue swells, overfilling the mouth.