I was sick a lot as a boy.
At one point I lost thirty pounds from Reye’s syndrome.
“Call 9-1-1,” I would say—
As the pain burned down my neck
As if a piping hot teakettle was teetering on top of the burner.
I had such bad fevers, hallucinations of axes
Swaying like in a gauntlet of booby traps
Would become haunting apparitions.
I got better, but the residue of a bar of soap
Greeted me in the bathroom on mornings.
It saw how being lonesome kept me buoyant,
How my thoughts eddied around a patched up propeller,
I was an idiom having a tug-of-war—
But nothing was pulling back.
A 1:00am expedition to the taco truck—
Hyphy being strung out from the distance.
Palm trees standing there like
Paintbrushes, ready to tint the sky.
Residents playing tourists
Because the taco truck feels like a paradise.
Waiting to order, Chaco shredding the pollo
That become strands of scarlet meteors,
Which fill corn tortillas,
Being gingerly bitten by a bonita
With bangs that reach her eyebrows,
And skin tone that soaks in
The terracotta pottery and Mayan soil.
Chaco has been here for 15 years now—
Same taco truck, same recipes.
He looks younger now than
When he was at his baby sister’s quinceanera.
That’s when things were much more complicated—
That’s when he always thought:
“How did I end up with canelo hair, queso blanco skin, and freckles?”
Especially, when his name is not Saul Alvarez—
His birth certificate reads William Arthur Jackson.
Because he is as white as chalk
People called him Chaco,
It kind of went together.
He was a bit different
But at the taco truck he felt he never was.
He just enjoys serving simple pleasures—
Somehow that always kept him grounded.
The whiff of poached Hyacinths
On a fire escape garden,
Citrus-sour smells of an urban rainforest
After a flash monsoon;
The burning calves
Because of hikes through narrowing trails
Of swindling woods
That steals away the sun’s radiant gaze;
Like a watery anaconda
Sweeping pebbles into each other
As they clunk like a game of marbles;
Children rolling down
Grassy hills like barrels over the Niagara;
A singular noise—
That is a marriage of
Leaves exhaling relaxed “Ahs…”
A shrubberies’ telescope,
Uneasy hammered rocks,
The chronically hampered air
Trying to release oxygen into every single cell—
Fluttering around like a personal Tinkerbelle;
This does not come from
A downloaded app,
This does not come from smashing the X or A button,
This is beyond HD;
This is Pokémon Go
Without the cell phone—
This is a walk inside a fishbowl of nature,
A small sample we take for granted.