To the Guatemalan boys who work the night shift at the taco shack with the blue roof downtown
and who come to school late or not at all
You slick back your hair every morning
coat it in globs of translucent ooze until it
shines like the sports car you wish you had
Instead, you ride a red bicycle
pedal hard and fast
never signal which way you are turning
swerve so sharply that the road bends for you
By the end of the school day
your hair has dried like crunchy black shell
I told you once that it looked like a bike helmet
(which you would not wear)
and you called me cabrona, a bitch
But the corners of your mouth told me otherwise
Your fingernails are long and white
and you always smell of the cigars
that the older boys smoke outside in the rain
while you carefully count out quarters and dimes
When the grocery store...
You thought grocery stores were reliable. That the food industry, all that flashing steel and conveyor belts, blue-shirted men grumbling between sips of burnt coffee, could be trusted to produce a normal carton of eggs. That’s all you wanted. Twelve Grade A large eggs in a squeaky, pink styrofoam container. One dollar and 42 cents, plus tax. Simple. Or so you thought.
You were running late that morning. Unusually late. You must have pressed the wrong button on your alarm, or gotten the AMs mixed up with the PMs, but regardless, your morning was running more behind than your last half-marathon. You were a windstorm, one hand buttoning while the other brushing - your hair, your teeth, the cat. Hungry, you look at the clock, go for a toaster waffle, realize you didn’t buy toaster waffles yesterday at the grocery store because you decided to be healthy and eat eggs this week, pull out a pan, turn on the stove,...