April 5, 2010
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You were an errand
that I had to run.

When your mother called to say
you were missing
and you called
to say you were drunk
halfway home
I stood
and hopped from the fluorescent insides of the bus
to the rain-painted street
to the downtown cacophony
that cracked and squealed.
I called
3 times
before you answered,
By the time you focused
long enough for me to extract your location
my nervous wandering had left me far from any bus.
I hailed a taxi,
yellow sides streaked with red reflections,
and told the driver to take me as close to you as
twelve dollars
and ninety three cents would take me.
We had just passed our first shop
adorned with cheap imported guitars
and jesuses glittering in neon,
just passed our first taqueria,
our first dollar store
when my money ran out.
I swung myself through the back entrance of a 27.
A woman with slicked on make-up
and large hands with long fingers
offered marshmallows to a child.
Politely turned down,
She filled her thick, cupped fingers and
tossed their contents into her wide,
lipstick ringed mouth.
The fogged ceiling of night looked
Green through the windows.

You were not
where you said you would be
(Cesar Chavez and Shotwell)
beneath the In-and-Out plumbing billboard.
I called
and you did not pick up.
even after
4 attempts
it rang seven times, then
“Hey, you reached” and I hung up.
The worry bubbled in my stomach,
you are most certainly lying dead
in the gutter or
under a bus.

Sleep lined the spaces behind my eyes
but I searched
for you.

I did not find you that night
but instead in the morning,
spread loosely on your bed.
your mother called to tell me you were home
and after a night spent searching
I curl next to you
and rest.

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