short stories poems,


Never Said I was Pablo Cruise

Posted by arley sanchez on July 8, 2011 at 12:15 AM

I ramble beat and anxious,

skitter like a leaf over lava rock,

a sweet city woman sings on the radio

and promises she'll wait for me.

So long ago cruising Mexico with Pablo;

he asks me for one more day

and I nod okay,

powerless to say no to Christmas tree eyes.

The radio blares Pablo Cruise

but Pablo spins the dial.

Real rock has no horns, like Chicago, he winks,

but Pablo Cruise,

he says, can come along for the ride.

My thoughts are rambunctious,

like children climbing a haystack.

Ghosts rarely tell their tales,

they are shades fading on the Earth.

I am made stronger by loss,

and what I lost is later found

by someone else

who will be made stronger by loss.

Sweet City Woman's empty promises

return me to Mexico

so long ago when we became camarades,

our friendship cemented on a Mexican weekend,

riding Metallic Blue with a name like corn whiskey

and a sound like thunder and white lightning.

Pablo rides shotgun, challenging Chevys,

chiding Cudas, harassing Hemis,

the squeal of molten rubber

and the roar of a 351 Cleveland

vanquishes Mexican Road Warriors

and Pablo beams, his golden locks whip

in the wind como el Thor.

Y las chulitas en Juarez bunched

on dangerous street corners,

screeching parakeets with flame blue eyes

and skinny brown legs,

raised skirts and silky wet tongues,

Oye, muchachos, Quieren dulce?

No es caro, very cheap.”

The plaza clatters in a chaotic din

as I am buscando el Pablo.

He wheels around a corner

like a windblown tumbleweed.

He can see I'm annoyed and possessive

of the only real friend I ever had.

His speed freak eyes accelerate

and he says with a wink,

“I never said I was Pablo Cruise.”

Weary like a promise broken too often,

my sweet city woman still waits.

Time splashes from a shattered

hour glass at my feet,

spilling blood and dreams.

Death walks like a shadow,

yet we pretend it's a lie.

The old can't see the precipice;

the blind can't hear the storm,

the unwell never knowing how to solve the puzzle.

I was shaken awake this morning

to pay my respects.

I find you lying on a brass bed of red,

your heart bleeding from a needle full of black tar.

A cop with black mirrored eyes tosses you

in the back of an ambulance

like so many broken dishes.

Later your cold blue hands clench a rosary

and on your head a shiny new baseball cap

sticks straight up like a head stone.

The body waits, the spirit kneels, afraid to go,

like a victim whose home

has been carried away by the storm.

Rosary beads chant and raging voices

dance inside my head.

A smile curls like incense

as I remember the day

you learned I loved your sister.

You looked in our tent and said,

“What the hell are you doing?”

and your sister replied,

“What the hell does it look like?”

and she slapped you so hard

your long golden locks fluttered

in the wind like a young man's flag.

When your locks fell away

like the leaves in the fall,

Thor died,

and your eyes became his tomb.

A clock ticks somewhere on Sundays

as I search for Pablo Cruise.

We swallowed miles and beer,

watched the full moon fling stars

off its hip like swing kids,

living for today and wishing for tomorrow

like children on Christmas Eve,

lamenting yesterdays

like lovers mourn for lost chances.

At the light a cop glares

and I growl like a dog at my own reflection.

In the rear view mirror, I imagine I see you

but it's only a tumbleweed.

Cruising Sundays solo, searching for solace,

probing for penance,

como un buscador soltero, a seeker alone.

I found a weathered snapshot of you today,

your face was haloed in gold,

and I hear myself say,

“You never said you'd be gone on Sundays,”

and then your reply,

“I never said I was Pablo Cruise.”

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