A Day in Hell—That Cynical Paradise

During slow times at the shop, she likes
to read books and scribble

in her notebook. Chica is reading The Book
of Nightmares, but no one is interested in

what book she’s reading. It’s just odd to see
a tiny beautiful woman—in that space working—

let alone reading a book. They don’t read
books anyhow, unless they’re about sparkling

bloodsuckers in sports cars. She read those too. People

never say anything. It’s not like she has

her face sucked into the screen of some
handheld device
which glows. Shadows are where she stores her

slim volume of poetry, when a customer enters
the building. Everyone who walks in the door

must be greeted enthusiastically, with a warm smile,
within 30 seconds (you never know if it’s a secret

shopper). Some days there is no time for food
much less food for thought. After long days of no

time to do anything right she goes home. She’s never right
there. That’s a place where she’s never noticed,

no matter how hard she tries. Men are undressing her
all day with their eyes, yet she can stand

naked in front of her husband without him
so much as looking. Her home is breaking all

around her and has not time nor energy

to fix it. She looks at the man who owns
her. Indeed it is ownership,

her feelings are dictated to her, so she’s not even
allowed to be hurt that he doesn’t see.

Possibilities of Deal Breakers

Leading lives of secrets kept from one

another, Chica doesn’t know

 

the rules of the game.  Her eyes are

focused on the dirty garage

 

floor when she walks past the heat

of Spanish music.  She has to keep herself

secret from Latin passion.  There are few who know

 

her who don’t love her, even the ones who betray her

love loved her so much

 

that they had to destroy her.  It’s strange for her

to not be natural.  She knows the more

 

he knows, the more the world as she knows it

will blow up, and no one could possibly know

 

what that landscape would look like.    

La Mujer

Tell me what your swollen eyes have

to say.  In them you can see

 

areas of delirium, passion, areas

 of death.  What worlds collide in

 

the harmony of song?  They see you:

 a body of a shadow dancer, a burglar

in their brains.  You are the chiseled

form of a woman who works

tirelessly as a man in the biggest

race of rats.  Some of the men

surrounding you tend not to understand

friendship.  Tell me before it rains

again, and no sunset could

shimmer in your burning eyes.

He’s the Man, All-righty

Otherwise known as a supervisor, what he is,

is a talker of shit who smears anyone’s name

to make his own look good.  It doesn’t matter

that he ain’t even bright enough to pass the personality

test which opens the door to the Corporate

managerial hierarchy, keeping him in his place

as the stupid “yes” man.  He’s a duped

dummy: a Corporate puppet.  Solely a lifeless thing

controlled by strings.

Titles and Birthday Cards Are Not the Same Thing

Maybe, I think you are an experience

worth having, Chica mutters to herself

as she walks away from his accusations

charging her of being lovey-

dovey.  She ain’t the sort

to think that she needs to possess the things

she loves.  The garage taught her that.  That beautiful

car doesn’t have to be yours

to appreciate it.  It’s the ride that matters.