Please do not re-post, copy or reproduce without my permission. All stories and poems are copyright by me.

It should have been the man in the white coat,

But he wore a blazer and a tie.

“Let’s put our heads together,” he said to his companion,

One new to all this, as I was.

They were speaking code for something

But I knew it when I heard it

The Conductor punching that ticket at last.

La Veta 2/18

To the west are a flying fish goddess,

a palm frond dying Jesus crucifix

a tin painting of Mary and Son

a backwards flowing om

A painted Guadalupe

And small photographs of our children

To the east are a pile of notebooks

A jar of pens, three knives

And a black magazine of pistol ammunition

Electronic things on wires

A flashlight no bigger than your little finger

And a print of a Geisha with sticks in her hair.

The miracle is

Her’s is the west,

Mine is the east,

We are still becoming one

After all these years.

La Veta 4/18

The old man was in a box.

Even when he bothered to come home

he was still in a box

inattentive, distant, lost in his other lives

which we knew little about

but were always there with him

inside his box.

The old man was in a box

or, precisely what was left of him

after the incinerator and the drunks’ memorial.

I eventually took him

in his box

and poured him into Bean Creek

which took him to the Rio Grande

and on to the Gulf

where it all began.

2/18 LV

My son and I have traveled seven days across ten states to pause at home before driving on to the California coast.

One of his boxes is open on the floor, disks spill out, their titles in Japanese. I don’t recognize most of his possessions. We have been apart many years.

He has become a mix of my little boy and a fully grown man steeped in complex worlds I only dimly understand.

This is how it should be.

But I struggle to nurture that little boy I held in my arms one mountain summer day long ago, smiling at one another as the cold stream tumbled and murmured of things to come below us on the wooden bridge.

6/6/18 LV

sitting in the station waiting

ticket in hand

the soaring columns disappear into the darkness

lights flood in

music soothes

people sit and move about

some seem to disappear without warning

others appear from the ticket windows taking their places

attendants move through the crowd

giving bread and wine

“Wait,” they say. “Wait.”

outside you see green hills

hear laughter

someone crying

leaving the station you meet a child

who smiles and takes your hand

there are no trains.

5/18 LV

Would Jesus like a woman

In tight jeans

With sequined crosses

On each cheek?

LV 7/18

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