Her text read that she'd
be there by 8.
And here it was, 8:24, and I'm
reading in the dark.
She gets ten more minutes before
I open another Pacifico and go
all the way.
I get a call at 8:42.
It's not her.
It's her sister.
I can't understand.
Her Spanish is too fast.
¿Mas despacio, por favor?
I get the message.
20 minutes, they say.
Time moves differently
in Mexico.
They arrive in thirty-five.
Only a little over an hour late.
Not bad.
The horn honks.
I make her walk up to the door
while I finish my beer.
"Just let me put my shoes on."
I plead in Spanish.
My broken, gringo, blancito, Spanish.

Her two sisters wait in the car.
The older one reminds me
of the girl I lost my virginity to,
except in better shape.
We drive and drive.
They talk,
I don't listen.
Unless it's directed at me.
Sometimes it is.
On our way to an outdoor concert,
they say.
"But, it's raining."
I say.
Short deliberation between
We change our plans for a bar.
I look out the window and smile
at the rain.

We get there.
Walking through the rain
and language barrier.
At the table.
The sisters offer beer.
I suggest tequila.
More deliberation.
I pay attention this time.
Tequila it is.
The bottle comes to
the table.
I start pouring.
Me first.
The awkward conversation is suppressed
by a very loud,
very bad,

I take a sip.
Hold it in my mouth.
Close my eyes.
And forget where I am.

On a trip to the bathroom,
I grab her
pull her in.
Luchas Linguas.
She pulls away
walks to the table
when a man walks in.
I stay a second longer.

Back at the table.
More people have arrived
I know some,
not others.
One is eager to practice,
practice English.
"go ahead."
He doesn't know enough to say
anything of interest.
I like it that way.
She has her hand on my knee
I have my hand in the ice.
She sways to a cover of
Chris Isaac.
I find nothing about
the way she moves

The tequila goes fast.
The new people order
two buckets of beers.
I drink two
before I head outside.
The rain has stopped,
but everything remains wet.
She follows me.
Sitting on some steps,
they lead up
She straddles my right thigh.
She's facing me and we start at it.

It's fun
because I can't tell
if she's real
or not.
And it doesn't matter.

Soon, she finds a rhythm.
I can see in her eyes,
she has a destination.
I'm glad someone
is enjoying themselves.
A hand ends up in her pants.
I suggest a taxi to my place.
She declines,
but keeps rocking
and shaking.

Her sister walks out
looking for us.
They need some money inside.
For the tequila
and the beer.
I give 120 pesos.
It's enough.

At the car
she can't drive.
Feels good.
Drunk driving a VW
through the dark, wet
Mexican night.
We arrive, and I get applause.
I can drive.

At the sister's boyfriend's house.
Guy I work with.
Drinks don't last long.
One sister heads to her boyfriend's room.
The other is talking with a German teacher,
We're sitting on a plastic chair.
"My house is only a few blocks away"
I suggest.
"No puedo."br />"¿Por que?"
"No sé."
"¿Tienes miedo de me?"
"……..Si, tengo miedo."
"¿Por que?"
"No sé."
"OK, me voy."

I get up to leave.
I don't look back.
She stays
with her sisters.

I slam the heavy door at my house.
"Hey, who is it?"
my German roommate yells.
"It's just me."
"OK, there were guys trying to get in earlier."
Inside the house.
I start in on throwing small objects
and slamming more doors.
Even if I don't want them
He asks me what happened.
I tell him.
He nods his head, but his
nineteen year old girlfriend
in his bed.
He can't understand
The Pressure.
Before long I'm in bed.
The heat makes sleep elusive
and once it arrives

I wake up early
but stay in bed late.
At 1:30 I eat a bowl of cereal.
By 1:50 I'm at the liquor store.
I head up to my roof, armed
with beer,
with a chair,
with a pen,
with a notebook,
and a few libros.

On the roof.
The view changes.
The roof is still here.
The sun is still here.
The mountains are still here.
The birds are still black.
My beer is still cold.
My pen still moves across a blank page.
Bukowski is still here.
Dylan Thomas is still here.
The many wires,°ale trees, and plentiful garbage
My feet are still dirty and my
eyes are still blue.
Nothing is ever perfect…
but my Mexican roof
with the sun and a beer and a pen are
as close as I expect to get.

I can't.
*Are you afraid of me?