I haven’t talked to Natalia in 3 days
we had another fight
I’ve been sleeping in the room out back
and drinking like a hole in the ground
it’s 2 p.m. and I hear a knock on the door
right in the middle of a dream where all my hair was falling out
and spiders were crawling out of my veins
Natalia says,
The guy’s here to fix the water pump
we’ve been waiting for a week for him to show up
they never call first
I spend too much time reading Emerson’s “Self Reliance”
to learn to fix anything
I get dressed and go outside
it’s sunny and a bit warmer
Natalia and I stand and watch him dismantle the water pump
40-ish Mexican man with his son learning the trade
handing him tools
he smiles and says,
You need a new tank and a new hose
I’ll go get the materials
and you’ll be back to normal in no time
Gracias, I say
we watch them drive off in his old truck
probably the same truck his father used
I put my arm around Natalia
but she twists away and goes inside
I stand there next to the pieces of the water pump
laid out on the cracked concrete
wondering what that guy thinks normal is
and how much it’s all going to cost


The doctor told Natalia she has a tiny hole in her eardrum
too small to see with the naked eye
been there from birth
never bothered her before and has nothing to do with anything
but that’s all the doctor could say
You’ve got a hole in your eardrum need to fix that
4,000 dollars
we don’t have 4,000 dollars
now Natalia puts cotton in her ear and is afraid of the wind
and the sea
and showers
on top of all the pain
But what about the other problem, doctor?
No idea but there’s a hole in your eardrum, doc said
You’re lucky I found it, doc said
doctors don’t listen too well
and they only see what they look for
just like you and me


After he got done looking into Natalia’s vagina
the doctor said we can’t have relations for a while
which was funny because we haven’t made
love in 2 years
and our relation is that of a couple of strangers
on an iceberg
he wrote out 3 new prescriptions
unlike most doctors he had beautiful handwriting
but he spelled her name wrong
life takes on a repeat
I said life takes on a repeat
all I can do is write my own little prescriptions
which I call poems
maybe Death will fill them

The Blind Mechanic

Suegra’s car broke down again
she called the cheapest mechanic she could find
he came over on the bus
got off with a walking stick and a tool box
he was blind
a blind mechanic
(just when you think you’ve seen it all)
he fiddled around under the hood with his fat fingers
everybody rolled their eyes saying this can’t be happening
who is this crazy old blind man?
he said he needed a part from Auto Zone
Pedro went and got it
the blind man felt it and said,
I need the other kind
Pedro went back to Auto Zone pissed off and muttering
when he returned the blind man put the new part in
took him awhile but he got it in there
Fire her up, the blind man said
Suegra got in and sure enough the old beast came to life
Suegra paid the blind man and he felt the bills and was satisfied
he gathered his tools without missing a one
tapped his walking cane off to the bus stop
while we all held our beers
and squinted in the sun

Grumpy and Celibate

2 flies locked in sexual union
on the table in the yard
next to my beer can
I end their ecstasy with a slap of my hand
then wipe up the wet spot