We got the call after she’d already
Been waiting two hours for his returns
And the women working in the reception office
Started to get nervous.
We bought her cab to us not knowing what condition
She’d be in. We just knew that if she was
At that doctor’s office in Laurel Heights,
Well we’d be in for a long day.
He mostly gave out birth control
And abortions on Saturdays.
My lover, gathered her from the cab
And stuck her on our borrowed couch
We were house sitting the way
Lovers do when you can’t go home
To your husbands and wives anymore
And no paperwork’s gone through
It was one of those between the world flats
Not belonging to the Haight or the Sunset
Just a little in between limbo like us.
Her first words were don’t be mad at him
It’s my fault for scheduling the same day
He has a football and an afternoon
Cheering Manchester United on
At the Pig & Whistle English pub
We never trusted her boyfriend
As he poured Kraft parmeasan cheese
Onto Mizithra & Macaroni in North Beach,
His lack of bagel appreciation
His suspicion of avocados
The enthusiam he displayed when eating
Tomatoes boiled in grease for brunch.
He’d dropped her off and told her he’d
Be there for her when she got out
But she took too long to have
Their future vacuumed out
“True love,” I told her
waits in the waiting room.
It makes him nervous to wait she said
He’s over stayed his visa
He’s practically illegal except
His white skin saves him.
Just once I’d like to see an ICE van
Roll up to an English pub and
Round up the brit taxi drivers
And footballer coaches inside.
La Migra, pinche Union Jack.
My sister arrived hungry
She’d’ thought he’d take her for lunch
After the abortion, she thought he’d want to talk
My lover disappeared while
I petted her hair and gave her chamomile
And assured her someday things would be different
And my lover re-emerged a half hour later
With cactus burritos from El Balazo.
La Bala the bullet, going right to need
Nopales with everything in them.
She wasn’t eating meat anymore
And she chastised me for having
Generic half and half in the fridge
For her coffee. She preferred organic
She said, inhaling her Salem menthol
On the balcony when she went out
For a minute of fresh air.
Too often I am surprised
By men when they gesture
Out kindness, when they bring food
When they feed us something
Besides their bodies
We sat there on the balcony
Eating enough for six not three
Drinking our coffees and then our beers
And we marveled at this savior lover
Until he took the last sip
And said long ago, I got up and left too
Atonement often works itself out
In other times, on other women
We laid her back down on the couch
To sleep off the day and the man
And kissed in the hallway like parents
When she started to snore
We went out down to the bakery
In case any of us got hungry in the wee hours
Of a San Francisco Sunday, in the
Wait around time before brunch.