vignettes&vendettas

poetry and poets

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

my radiant sin



my radiant sin
tony gallucci


Okay. After 10 p.m. Long after 10 p.m., out beyond Sycamore Street. Highway 83 going west, in a midnight blue blur at 148 miles-per-hour, flying over overpasses, skipping, barely controlled touchdowns, blowing west past Pharr, McAllen, Sharyland, Mission, La Joya, Sullivan City, past neon palm trees and still, dark orchards, wafts of 3 a.m. tortillas and donuts, and cops at coffee shops, past eastbound freight trucks and husbands hurrying home, past waddling 'possums and nighthawks, past thumbers and shiftless and sneaking north for the American Dream, past the race for time and the race for races, past drinking too young, and too late, and too much, past roaches and joints and all-night joints, and dusty dimlight backrooms Lord knows what goes on there smelling like murder, just pretending, like so much violence is just pretending, past constables can pick out something wrong at a quarter-mile and it drives a car with bad shocks and dingleballs on the mirror, and if that's you that's trouble, and if it's not don't make it your trouble, past trouble standing on the side of the road, past trouble in the County Line Market after hours, past trouble at Emilio's bar, and Emilio's trouble, past trouble running naked through Colonia San Miguel, ole San Miguel not doing a good job of being un santo, past trouble on a black-and-white flashing blue and red, past green slipping from one dark hand to another, past pretending, past the real thing, past lying in the gutter on Jackson Avenue real thing, past hands hard-cold-steel-cinched behind the back real thing, past real names hurled, thrown, spat, past los ojos del tigre, and coy kittens, past jade eyes and emerald, color of money, past eyes rigor mortis, color of bile, middle C note humming death, past archangels and Beelzebub, bubble baths and blood, past Henry and Maria, past Jamie and Julie and John and Jose and Jimi and Jehosaphat and Jennifer and Joseph and Jesus, oh sweet Jesus, past church doors open and chapel doors closed, past crosses and cruxes and calm, and screaming noise-not noise, and only the sound of wind in the window cracked open to bleed out the sin and hot stench of breath too hot for breathing, past windows hot breath fogged, past feeling, too hot to fuck, too cold to die, past dying, past past, past present, past future, passed by, passed by, oh radiant sin.