In or Out or a Slow Sip of Poison

Existing in the same world

Chacho and the gringa are doing

a tango with no music.  Air compressors

only sound with blow torches, and grinding

wheels to dominate the air

thick with ethanol and carbon

monoxide.  Where in this filthy


world does beauty exist


other than in someone else’s

possessions?  She is naked dressed

as a man, naked to the frail nature of her

slight frame which she denies

with every exhale of the 100 chin-ups

she does in a single say.  There is no one

more genuinely themselves—even dressed up as


someone she’s not—as Chica.  Naked to


fail the tests of life around her.  Chacho with his

eyes the same color as hers, is a guarded man

with his heart beating on his greasy

rolled up sleeve.  His proud heart

sometimes scares him into arrhythmia

costing him a day’s pay and an emergency

room bill.  Secretly, she hates his enticing face


for being a picture taken of himself


from far, far away.  She don’t know

what to do, don’t know what to say.


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