I used to hold my social security card
up in the air,
he told me,
but I was so small
they couldn't see it,
all those big
you mean the place with the
big green screen?
Yeah. well, anyhow, I finally got on
the other day
picking tomatoes, and Jesus Christ,
I couldn't get anywhere
it was too hot, too hot
and I couldn't get anything in my sack
so I layed under the truck
in the shade and drank
wine. I didn't make a
have a drink, I said.
sure, he said.
2 big women came in and
I mean BIG
and they sat next to
shot of red-eye, one of them
said to the bartender.
Likewise, said the other.
they pulled their dresses up
around their hips and
swung their legs.
um, umm. I think I'm going mad, I told
my friend from the tomato fields.
Jesus, he said, Jesus and Mary, I can't
believe what I see.
there, I said.
you a fighter? the one next to me
no, I said.
what happened to your
automobile accident on the San Berdo
freeway. some drunk jumped the divider. I was
how old are you, daddy?
old enough to slice the melon, I said,
tapping my cigar ashes into my beer to give me
can you buy a melon? she asked.
have you ever been chased across the Mojave and
no, she said.
I pulled out my last 20 and with an old man's
virile abandon ordered
both girls smiled and pulled their dresses
higher, if possible.
who's your friend? they asked.
this is Lord Chesterfield, I told
pleased to meetcha, they
hello, bitches, he answered.
we walked through the 3rd. street tunnel
to a green hotel, the girls had a
there was one bed and we all got
in. I don't know who got
the next morning my friend and I
were down at the Farm Labor Market
on San Pedro Street
holding up and waving our social
they couldn't see
I was the last one on the truck out. a big woman stood
up against me. she smelled like
honey, she asked, whatever happened to your
Fair grounds. a dancing bear who
bullshit, she said.
maybe so, I said, but get your hand out
from around my
balls, everybody's looking.
when we got to the
fields the sun was
and the world
Appears in Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame
©Linda Lee Bukowski - used with permission