Mexico City is a floating metropolis. Formally known as Tenochtitlán, the city was constructed on lakes and rivers. Cement transposed over years, seamless. There is a particular human tendency to [More…]
Who among us hasn’t looked up at dawn
alarmed, wondered what it would be like
to be someone very ill and the vigilant song
signalling the end of darkness, beginning of light?
I think of my old man
who hated the sea
too great and too mighty
impossible to tame
Some days I wake up inside a whirlpool
of boats and houses and trees and dogs and people,
and my missing sister is there too:
spinning, spinning, her small mouth open
and fish are popping out of her.
Yes, my sister is a home for fish.
Who would have thought.
He built a ticky-tacky shack on the market place
and charged 5 bucks for cat-telling fortunes
a trumpet playing strumpet reached into her bag
a bulldog jumped out and started a World War 3
When Satchmo’s ghost refused enlistment 3 its later
all cats on Earth — telepathically warned by Bill’s mouser —
wary of vampire dogs, wolf man jazz, flying fish,
chicken feet and Dixie minstrels in a trombone parade
dignity is the
only option, when every
step is agony.
In the Barrio Gotico, Tony, lately jilted by his American girl friend, groaned after tapas and too much peseta-a-glass wine, “I need a woman.” So we, a couple with sex guaranteed, followed him here, to what is known as the Barrio Chino, to the notorious Calle Robador to support his search for a paid partner. Robador is narrow, and from the balconies above, laundry banners it, signalling with sheets, shirts, and children’s clothes that families live here too, that women do laundry here, keep house here.
By the time our relationship ended, years later, I knew that Fort McMurray was a place she’d never been to, and that the long-haired guy was a man she’d never met. But this was first love; I wanted to follow the scent, not heed the warning signs. Standing by the side of the road, thumb extended, it was exhilarating to improvise and be anonymous and totally confused.
Kids with sun-bleached hair and darkened skin, pool passes pinned to the corners of the towels draped around our necks, wearing bathing suits, sneakers and nothing else, watching us saddle up and roll out of the driveway in formation to our destination, eight of us on BMX bikes, some with crash pads, none of them, like my one-of-a-kind vehicle, modified with a banana seat.
I stopped and smiled brightly at him, to let him know that it didn’t matter one bit. But it was too late. He had already followed his guilt into his shop and closed the door.
Something changed that day. As my friends and I rode to the pool, jumping off the highest sidewalks, standing on cross bars, riding with no hands, I knew something was different.
Throughout April she raked and pulled and hoed. Patched up the stone borders to keep the dirt in. Mixed coffee grinds into the ground. She grew to love the dirt. The way she could smell it, dark and feral, through the open windows after it rained. The way it collected in lines under her fingernails and, if she bit them, the way it crunched between her teeth.