57th X-ing

Marisol,
       let us take this thing we call love
       past Needles land of dead radiators
       buy ourselves a trailer home
       somewhere in Death Valley
       close to, yet far from
       Charlie’s gang
       spread our seeds like locoweed
       and watch the dry wind blow
       dust and pebbles against
       our tin-can home
       hoping the windows won’t break
       that this will never end
       our feet scraping the sand-soil beneath us
       amazed at the Saguaro’s survival
       in this drip-drop desert
       far from your stepfather’s belt buckle
       and your mother’s scorn
       drifters no longer
you and I

 

58th X-ing

Marisol,
       desperation
       within these walls
       behind the iron.

There’s a man
they call Weasel here
small face, thin fingers.

He paces all night long
flushing the toilet.

He whistles tunes from the ’30s.

Guards say he’s obsessive-compulsive,
delusional,
suffering from insomnia.

Claims to have seen the sky fall
the stars become rotary blades
slicing the earth to pieces.
Claims to hear his mother calling
through the cot
he sleeps on.

But the only sound night brings
is the clank of steel doors
rolling shut
       and occasional groans and laments
       from those of us too tired to sleep
       with illusions or delusions lost on paper.

 

59th X-ing

Marisol,
that stretch of desert
on the way to Vegas
could be our walkway.

I have this silver suit in mind
yellow shirt and red shoes
we’ll drink and gamble
then stop at one of those chapels
where ready-made love becomes legal
then call it a night.

You,
with your hair shoulder length
and skin the color of dry leaves.
I,
hoping refuge comes for once
without a price.

 

60th X-ing

Marisol,
       in here,
       entre todo esto

some turn to Jesus for salvation.

For protection,
               others turn to men.

I keep to myself
and dwell in my dreams.

I turn to you.

 

Luis Eduardo López works as a family counselor with abused children and their parents in Echo Park, Los Angeles. He is a native of Cuba, raised in LA since 1970. His poetry has appeared in anthologies and reviews such as Iguana Dreams, Under the Pomegranate Tree, The Floating Borderlands, Little Havana Blues, and Paper Dance. These poems are from his collection People X-ing Ahead, presently being considered for publication.

BOMB 81
Fall 2002
The cover of BOMB 81
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