Let it ride
He has always been relentless
when it comes to the chase.
As a boy tossing coins for sweets,
luck was his sugary hit.
All the other kids smelled fear
when tempted with one more spin.
Attached to a father’s addiction,
his small steps followed shadows
in racecourse betting rings filled
with the noise of men so sure of it.
Fists full of cash and the same stories
of fake glory repeated ad nauseam.
It’s in his blood now, a transfusion
the speed of light through his veins
chasing the next race, a hard whisper
in his ear whooshes through his brain.
The winning post is his only orgasm,
away from tactile moments he lost.
He thinks hesitation is for losers,
winners never blink- stare deep
into the sucker’s soul.
That ping every week from a text-
another insider with a crystal ball;
A golden prophecy - a sure thing.
Calle Sin Salida (Dead End Street)
Mamá has 3 sons
still young enough to hide their tears.
Her eyes the colour of cacao
sink deep and dark
telling her story.
6 days every week-
rising with the first robin song,
returning with the fumes of the colectivo;
Chained to the local factory,
lines of sweatshop wives
sewing heart shapes
to a Latin chorus of the needle beat.
Lila Downs screams heart filled boleros
to their shared lunches of muted longings.
The three brothers go to school
but soon the shadow of work
will be calling like sunset.
In early evening they kick a flat football
on streets paved with dirt
until the last light disappears.
Their Abuela casts a shadow, fading in the house.
Papá as long gone as the last train after midnight.
It’s the only way
Get rich faster than light.
Incinerate your eyes with the prize.
Wear headphones so nobody can
hear the beat of that music.
Sit alone at the afternoon cinema,
wait for the same story to unravel.
Listen to silence as words spew out
like soda from a shaken can.
Hide inside bubbles made of steel
that no pin can ever pop.
Sell your soul
to pray for a miracle.
Drift in and out of your evening stupor-
reality dissolves on your numb tongue.
Leap onto a moving train
that is never going to stop.
Smell like leftovers and Listerine.
Ghouls crawl up your nostrils.
Leave an empty diary in the desert-
it screams of madness in its padded cell.
Walk with stones in your shoes.
Hidden secrets inside those silk socks.
Hand out business cards at funerals
because life must go on.
Waste everything on the buffet table.
Let it all rot while the bands play.
It’s the only way.