WHATEVER YOU DO,
don’t go out to dinner with two
white haired old ladies, your mom and your aunt
who you haven’t seen in ten years.
Don’t listen to them as they rave
about the new restaurant in the mall
where the children run feral and a clown
lurks in the corner painting pictures
and the bartender has acne. Jesus, the vegetables
will be juiceless and cold, there will be a pile
of pepper on the steak,
your fries will sit in the tanning-window
like the fingers of a Miami snowbird.
The onion rings will be baby-oil greasy,
the rag-doll chicken dry, the cokes flat
as a Kansas highway.
Your aunt and mother will whisper over their de-caffs
about the fat guy one table away,
who will hear them and catch your eye.
There will be gossip about who the sheriff’s
fucking now besides the missus, and the sauce and shame
of the current minister.
When a to-go container is asked for
the waitress will bring a styrofoam clam shell
which your mom will think too big and make
the waitress hunt in back for a smaller one
which she’ll forget on the table like a dirty kleenex
because she is too busy looking for evidence
of leavening in the check.
As you’re walking out the door
your mother will shake her head and say,
“Just like last time.”
And your aunt will say,
“And the time before that.”
They call Tucson,
The grass is plentiful
and Mexican isn’t
as bad as it used to be.
Pretty much everyone you meet
will take a toke:
the tattoo heads,
the metal dudes,
the country boys,
even the soccer moms
and the mob element down here like the loco.
I feel like an ex-patriate
in my khaki shorts
naked to the waist
with the door open to the wind and sun,
the birds and bees,
a little smoke,
music from a small radio,
alone in a simple room,
exactly like an ex-patriate
except I can walk down
to the mini mart
when I get the munchies.
About the author:
I am a 39 year old cab driver living in Tucson with a Mexican girl. I have no university degree, pet, blog or awards to brag about, but my poetry has appeared here and there since 1996.