On the way to Tucson
my father is there dying
what has not been said is
everything that a little girl
ever wanted to say to her daddy
you are the king of my world
you have saved me from the greenest scaliest dragons
you are the reason that all men should have the strength
of Stetsons, the scent of English Leather, the softness of
tears for his children
you are how I know how to fight
and how I know how to fail
like all the others in your family before you
we have run out of time
stopped far short of the finish line
we gave up. On each other.
Somehow I don’t think that’s what you meant
for us when I was small, or even when I last sat across from you
silently. Maybe you want the chance just to say
before you go on,
“I love you my girl, and
I would slay a thousand dragons,
just to tell you that
you are the princess of my world.”
We are a nation of laws.
Those with the right skin color
right bank account
if you’re packing heat
or wearing a badge
if you fall in love with right gender
if you do it in the right position
THEN, WE are a nation of laws
if you are perceived by the above
to be an outlier
outside the bell curve
dare I say, deviant in thought
should you wear a hoodie
in the dark of night
should you walk alone when
you’re black and young
and if someone follows you
should you fight
that is another story
these laws are not for you.
We are a nation of laws,
your president admonishes.
Just make damn sure you can
pay your emergency room bill
if you’re on the wrong side of the gun
that the law allows him to carry
Lest we forget
there is no longer a need
for a Voting Rights Act.
no vote manipulation or
for if there was,
surely the Electoral College will save us from our ignorance.
As long as we like it missionary style
and shop convenience in the light of day, we’re all okay.
Give us your poor. Your ignorant. Your gay.
Your unarmed. Your hoodied. Don’t be afraid.
We’ll find a place for them all on the fringe.
We. Are. A nation of laws.
on the run from record mercury
seeking solace in the heights of cool pine bluffs
seeking to spend every moment from pancakes until Letterman
learning the lines of each other’s faces and
stories in each other’s eyes, so that we forget all day to eat.
Suspended in a downpour
of newborn love and thunderstorms,
a vestibule on main street,
wholesome hometown antique shop, a cold rain, and steam
so hot from our kiss, it’s about to turn X-rated.
Little hole in the wall,
off the sidewalk where people pass,
this is the place we choose.
A place we come to know,
we are for each other.
We will always be together
and maybe the heat conjured up this road trip,
sent us up state in a small silver two-seater
so the thunderstorms could hold their ceremony
and the rain could baptize us in a makeshift altar
among passing strangers.
Because that is where we could breathe each other,
and that is where our heat turned to wild-fire.
So hot it raged into this Latin love thing and
babies were born of it. We’re livin’ always in the heat.
Like that love that grew out of cool lust in the street.
There is no place else we ever want to be.