I. En r o u t e to Tucson, Arizona

a date I can never remember,
en route to Tucson, Arizona,

vicente’s hymns as feather strokes to the hear,
heat always rises in his old beaten truck,
a Modelo in the driver side tray, rather so,
in his liver as he drives one handed, so used
to having a shift stick to trigger the next gear.

my grandmother and her LIFE MEXICANOS magazine
reading up on her novela stars getting paid zilch
in the belly of Hollywood’s bullshit, telling narratives
that only attract her age definition, the ads
want to make her ragged face pretty once more,
she rips out the page, throws it out the window.

por tu maldito amor por to mal, oh my goodness
this song has been on repeat for about 13 years
and I don’t even know what it means
because I cannot fling my tongue fast enough
but I can sure sing the shit out of it. and so can he,
at least during that time he could,
maybe thats why he turned up so high,
so I couldn’t hear his voice
but I could hear it,
I could hear it,
I could hear it
as we sledged our way down
these sand dunes of the upper valley,
crossing signs:

WHEELER RIDGE,
PASADENA,
CATHEDRAL CITY,
DEATH VALLEY, past the GILLA into
PHOENIX

as a phoenix into
the new sun that stretched far amongst the dunes,
mystifying my eyes as an elusion to latter. I envision my mother
singing landslide, a cigarette destroying her lungs,
one puff at a time but her voice; an awe, an awe that
gave me mine to sing along as she lifted away like the smoke.

WELCOME TO TUCSON

this highway is meant for thinking,
it is meant for ensuring what I already know
but I continue to question it all
as we soar at speeds of 100 mph,
as a voyager to meet a great grandmother who
barely moves at all
but can still remember my name.

this highway is meant for me,
it is meant for us,
it is meant to sing songs of life
when all we know when we arrive will be death,
lets hope our laughs between now and then
will be enough to get us back home after the bury.

-JL

 

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