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Lorena told Sofia to put a drop of her own pee
in her man’s beer
if she wanted him to love her
so she did 
and by God it worked.
Then 11 months later Sofia was near to pop-out a baby
and her man was standing in the dirt road at 3 a.m.
screaming obscenities at the house,
pissing on the front stoop
until the cops showed up
and slapped him with a half-ass-enforced
restraining order. 
The baby boy who was named after his dad 
and looked just like him 
grew to resent the deal 
until the age of 18 when he left this  
mud-hole of a pueblo 
and settled into a plumbing LLC in Mexicali
where he makes a pretty good living to this day
though you’d never know it by his cheapo 
Christmas gifts
and the hostile vibes we get on social media
from his cornsilk-haired significant other
and all her psycho family in Acapulco.  



I went swimming in the ocean yesterday.
It’s October and the water was cold,
bracing and good for the hangover.
Natalia went with me but she doesn’t swim.
It was a little windy
and there is a lot of fecal matter in the air here.
Natalia is scared of the wind.
She’s scared of almost everything these days:
dogs, cats, strangers, yeast, grocery stores, the sun, fog, sugar.
We carry an umbrella 
and plant it in the sand of the beach.
She sits under it and watches me swim.
It’s like being on the moon when I’m in the water
or flying in a dream.
Sometimes there are manta rays that will sting you
and bright blue jellyfish the size of baseballs.
They’ve touched me and didn’t sting me
but it’s only a matter of time.
A lot of people wear shoes in the water but I don’t.
The scientists found fossilized footprints 
in New Mexico the other day.
It was on the news.
In the photos you could clearly see they were human footprints
with the unmistakable splayed toes.
They say they are 23,000 years old 
which is hard to imagine.
I wonder what they were doing 23,000 years ago.
Just walking around 
looking for food,
trying to get out of the mud?
I wonder if they were confused about the meaning of it all
or if they knew some beautiful secret
that I do not. 

Old Boats

This is a fishing village and there are abandoned boats
all over,
in vacant lots and on the side of the road,
in peoples’ yards,
old decrepit boats that will never float again.
Nobody ever fixes them. 
It’s as if the sea receded and left them here.
They lay tilted with chipped paint and splintered wood.
There is nowhere to take them where they might rest easier
or if there is it would cost too much.
Sometimes people will burn one in the night to stay warm
or just to watch the flames,
the ancient mariner’s varnish bubbling and stinking,
the cracking like some mythical monster 
snapping bones in his jaws like our dog Chucho 
with his chicken bones.
I walk by two such abandoned boats 
every time I walk to the corner store.
Chucho stops to piss on them.
They were new and shiny once and split 
the lazy blue waters of the Sea of Cortez
when there were still plenty of fish in it,
long before I ever came here or heard of this place. 
The price of shrimp is higher every day
and they are smaller and smaller with worrisome 
black spots on them.
It’s the same all over the world.
We wait for a new flood to wash over us
but the water only rises a few centimeters a year
and we don’t live long enough to fathom history.
It’s too cold to swim now in November.
The old boats tossed down and forgotten like the toys 
of over-grown children.
Some people say they could be turned
into art.
Others throw garbage into them 
as they walk by.