as they stare

they treat me any kind of way
thirteen pounds of furry muscle
they demand as they stare at me
guilt me with otherworldly cuteness
i beg and i plead my very soul to keep
for a headbutt or a tail hug
to no avail
i rush into the kitchen room
they like sentries cold in their eyes of jewel
manipulate me to open their favorite chow
and place hers on the dinning table
he satisfied to be served on the counter tops

Bean and Phoebe 2022


it took about three hours to get to Los Angeles Street

from Mission Avenue

with its grandiose blocks of junked cars

guys who waved flags like bull fighters

funneling you into their driveways

to get your muffler fixed for $75

i thought about Hemingway’s story

looking down at the dirty greased earth

wondering why i wasn’t dead that afternoon

trying to find the lesson or the meaning

of that certain event in my life

my body hurt

the concrete was harder than i had ever remembered

the worn sole of my one right Chinese girl shoe

mouthed slowly at every step i’d take

as it “peeoed-peeoed” at me

like baby birds demanding food

i thought of my left shoe

it became a casualty

strewn under a fire escape at Werdin Place

i imagined my shoe there

embalmed with bum urine and cigarette ash  

never really felt self-pity

until that moment

my one black sock

still on my left foot

i stank like Camels and latex

i was dirty all the way

deep into the marrow

i consoled myself

tearing the bandages from my throat and my left ring finger

the bandages caused me to admit defeat

worst yet


i sat on the curve of Sunset and Spring St.

to cry amongst the scent of taquitos and Peking duck 

knock knock knock bang bang bang

“Ay! I goingg, cheeett!” said a husky voice from behind 303

“Ciao, Taino,” i whispered

“Ave Maria! Niňa, what happen to juu?! Alvaro, Alvaro! Cojeme el first aid kit!” tisked Taino

“I’m good doll. I just took a little beating late last night. I’ve already seen the doctors,” i explained

Taino dressed in a paisley green red and gold muumuu

ignored my answer

heavy mocha hands gently pulled and tugged

at the hoodie full of blood

his thick long red taloned fingers

negotiated with my bruises

fussing over me

Taino’s fiery short red bob

swooshed back and forth

past his round jowls

right below the heavy rouge line

he ordered his friend

to go get dragon won ton soup

Gatorade and ginger ale right quick

while Taino spoon fed me

he would rattle on

about simpler times

in the Puerto Rican mountains 

about his mother’s cuisine

after a long day at work

Taino would look at me tenderly

eyelids thickly lacquered  

blue shadow and black fake eye lashes

akin to window awnings

while he lined me

i’d caress his thick indigenous cinnamon face

that is why i named him Taino

“O.k. niňa vamos a dormir now mi reina.” he whispered in my ear

as he spooned me

telling his roommate Alvaro

not to answer the “gatdam” door to anyone

“Taino, do you believe in God?” i remember slurring

“Oh, si mami, claro.” Taino agreed in a hush

“Taino, is your mom happy you are like a woman? I am Taino, I love you,” those words crawled

out of my mouth

“Ay niňa, so many questions,” i could hear him sighing

a million miles away

who’d a thought

is there such a thing as joy i don’t know what does the experience feel like is it velvety like your graying pubic hairs tickling my back does it taste like your Jack Daniel’s tongue with a Winston smokey chaser down my throat i want to say it looks like your strong rough hands with tiny scars on the tops and intricate lines on the palms of your warrior hands does joy smell like your sweat fossil grease gun powder breeze and the wind of America in your hair i bet joy sounds deep and blue like when you recite beautiful lies in my ears


i’m drunk on confusion you see Stockholm syndrome all up inside of me we’ve had a different mix here and there cast multiple rolls only to find myself back at your door i can lie to myself think that i’m strong a bad bitch a winner but i know that i’m wrong for reasons unknown you stabbed me up and i done you wrong we went our own way several times but always united by the love to our life immaturity by my side you took a shot and i had to take five and as time passes by the bitter salt crust seems to fall off i concede your advantage you have my heart