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It’s July. The neighbors are blasting Santana,

and I am thinking about 1975, the last summer I lived

in Albuquerque, when we survived on cheap weed and tequila, 

taquitas from Mac’s and crawdads from the aquecias in the South Valley.

That summer, I stayed out too late, lying

at the end of the runway, listening to Stairway To Heaven,

watching the trails the jets made as they roared into the night sky.


I took my chances cruising Central, honking at low riders 

with rattails and turquoise cars, signaling an invitation

to escape familiar lives, surrender to outlawed love and

remap unspoken boundaries    free from fury and

the momentum of the world,   separate from  the hard scrabble,  

and the low rumbling threats that rose from the valley to the heights,


and for a little while, I forgot about stabbings and overdoses,

forgot about George’s body hanging in his closet, 

Nanette anxiously chewing the wood off her pencils, forgot

about fear and the blood thirsty Rio Grande. 


Once, I picked up a hitchhiker after a Jeff Beck concert, a gypsy woman

named Star, who pulled out a crystal ball and made me feel important,

made me feel like there was some purpose for my living.

I was staring blankly forward, trying to navigate the lines that divided the road,

wondering how she could see things so clearly, when I had no idea where

I was headed.

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