El Balazo

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.

About Margaret Elysia Garcia

Margaret Elysia Garcia is the author of short story ebook collection Sad Girls and Other Stories, and the audiobook Mary of the Chance Encounters, and the co-founder and lead playwright of Las Pachucas, theatrical troupe. She teaches creative writing and theatre in a California state prison.
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1 Response to El Balazo

  1. tamekamullins says:

    Only a talented person can relay something sad so poetically so you can still see the beauty and humanity in it. I know these people.

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