Near the porch she hoards cats under, my friend Teeny, a womyn-loving-womyn lacking rhythm, the kind of womyn warrior who sways against the music once a year at Michigan Womyn’s Festival, displays a store-bought rock among the petunias. Etched onto it is the epigram: “Old gardeners never die. They just spade away.”
Down the hood of the Ford Focus the forty-year-old chola living next door drives, I want to key, “Old cholas never die but their tattoos sure as shit fade hella uuuuuuuuuuuuuugly!”
I would feel less antipathy towards the forty-year-old chola if she wouldn’t flick lit cigarettes out her window and onto my rosemary. The sign that she’s been smoking is the Italian smell. I would also thank the forty-year-old chola if she’d strut her flan in an adequately-sized tube top. You can’t squeeze flan into a container smaller than it. Flan doesn’t work that way. Contrary to what her clothes tell me she believes, it has been years since her flan was a California roll.
Another thing I’d appreciate would be if she enjoyed her music alone. When the forty-year-old chola plays songs, we all have to listen and, sometimes, I’m not in the mood to hear her sing The Greatest Love of All to herself. Also, in the morning, when I’m just beginning to accept consciousness, I can hear her cracking eggs to Make It Nasty.
Click here to Make It Nasty but exercise caution. If a forty-year-old chola is in the vicinity, she will start to cook, and worse, get low.
When gardening near my dying Fremontodenron,
I sweat within gang-sign throwing distance of the forty-year-old chola’s window.
Her fuchsia curtains were shut when I brought out my pail to weed.
On days her curtains hang open, I can see into a room with fuchsia walls. Hanging from one, against a wave of coochy pink, a framed picture of la Virgen de Guadalupe radiates light.
To see her suspended that way, beaming against that color, would do Betsey Johnson proud.
And then…it’s as if you hear the virgin…talking…to you.
“Ay! Staaaaaaapit! Who told you sluts are ticklish! Hee-hee-hee-hee-hee!“
“Guadid you say, stoopit? I SAID BRING ME A BEER! DO WHAT I TAL YOU. I’M YOUR MUTHER’S SISTER!”
“Pepe, yer a f*ckin’ duuuuuuuuuuuuumbass! I hope you to go jile.”
“What happen to my heel?”
I can lurk in my bushes for hours, listening to la Virgen talk.
It makes me feel close to Paul Rodriguez.
With her curtains drawn, I couldn’t live out my Juan Diego fantasies.
My cacti showed me a good time.
Agave, a camel without a toe.
Sadly, the lazy Mexican statue guarding my front steps ran away. It left its feet behind. Disembodied, they now seem Old Testamenty.
I wonder what he stole before he left.
Gringos are the opposite. They get hospitality twisted.
They abandon metaphor when told mi casa es su casa.
They slide their not-sandals under your bed and buy the Southwest for two scraps of hairy bread.
So as not to confuse anyone, mi casa es mine and TJ’s only.
And after a summer of mucking around in our roots and inheriting ancestral loot,
we can now stand in front of our fridge to reap what’s spoiled.