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Always Messing with them Boys
Jessica Helen Lopez           
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us

Tell me about the lazy days
and I will recollect summer
nights like a basket full of
yarn tattered strings blowing
in the wind, colorless
Mamafs cotton
linen on the line, the moon like
a basketball in the sky

before the idea of college
the smell of success
and motherfs spilled milk,
her midnight attempt
with a razor meant for
shaving her eyebrows

We were thin]skinned kids
tongues a perpetual red
from the choke]cherry slurpees
we washed down our gullets and
a pocket full of stolen Slim]Jims
from the corner store

We always had a get]away plan
young criminals that we were
the Korean manager,
just as cliche
as us

all those times
we spat
in the wind

The desert had yet to set
us in our ways
the sun a golden pocket
watch on the other side of the globe

I saw it sink
between the handlebars
of my second]hand blue
beach cruiser each lazy warm
afternoon we spent together

A town with too
many rich ranchers
and not enough rivers
these were those days
before we baked into the
gingerbread figurines we became
knees still malleable, flexible
and young for good tree climbing
a tussle with our current bitch
mutt]dog in our dirt]packed back yard

Your smile was not yet shattered
my ribcage still intact our
breath held in traction
taken hostage by the stars
a whole desert just for us

We led miniature riots in our backyard
complete with wonder and the notion
that we could dig our way to China

dirt]filled nostrils our shared bathwater
was black as earth, two grubby]eyed kids
sharing the same soap

Brother, my little raven]haired dove
your bangs fell like crooked curtains

around the brow of your face
forever a lippy pout, a puckered
old manfs question mark

You loved me then
not the way you
hate me now
and I always cried
when our father
hit you

but my hands
were just
as red as his
heart]heavy
as any guilt

I cried when at the age of nineteen
you smoked thirteen bowls of hashish
proud you didnft puke
smack went your newly
razor]bladed baldness
against my sliding window,
the pane shattered and
your lazy left eye rolled too crazy for me
as you limped away
I knew a part of you
was gone for good

sometimes you call
sometimes you wonft
often I push you
many times
I donft
but when
you do
call

I hear those shattered
stars in your voice
and I know
the memory
of desert
has had
her salt]rubbed way
with us

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