Sleepy and the Rock, 1993
a memory I lost but now have found
“See this rock.” Perched between stout fingers,
a homeboy shows off the rock, and I check the shit out
like it’s fucking magic what he holds in the
sandpaper that is a hand.
“This rock ain’t shit,” he goes.
“Til I put my arm behind it, guey.
And then, shit, watcha.
Watch what this little bitch can do.”
Intrigue flutters. Wild, gilded eyes.
I’m doubled over. A day before Valentine's.
Torpedoing and a soft whistle
across overgrown yard and a gate that won’t shut,
shattering a toothless window to an old house
that’s empty now except for the imprints of tecatos
who shoot endless brown there and
fuck and nod off and stave off life.
Now, I’m watching that rock.
Seeing it spin. Watchando.
Sleepy grabbing on me and dissolving.
Seeing it bring shit down, he goes,
“Life fucks up fast, manito.”
I ain’t huffing no more.
The sting that overwhelmed my lungs dissipates.
I’m following a homeboy who has sped ahead
of me on a rigged-up ten-speed, a homeboy who
swallows from a tallboy Schaefer as he pedals
and will put a mouth on me in the dreams that keep
me company when everyone else has failed.
The sun is hot like fuck.
The eyes of la vecina fisgona swarm around me, and
the trains howl like dogs.
My breathing gaffs. Desire stifles amongst so many
locusts and then rises up again like perhaps maybe
when Sleep invites me to kick back at his pad,
this shit might really happen,
all the cards fall into place finally.
But they don’t.
And instead, I’m here chasing, smashing
open another beer I don’t want,
always chasing the shit that I can never get.