Koreatown, New York City
She looks even tinier
Next to the large police man
Who pushes her shopping cart
Around the squad car with diligence
As if his mother’s groceries
Are about to go in the trunk,
Sliced mangoes resting on ice,
Brand new Tupperware containers.
His female partner makes room in the back seat
And from both sides of this touristy intersection
Some of us continue watching as the cops, without fuss,
Guide the woman into the car,
Almost as if she were not being taken away and we
Not holding our breath, smart phone cameras at the ready,
Her straight black hair fastened in a ponytail
Her wrists zip-tied behind her back.
Portrait of Abuelo with a Gun
The acupuncture never worked. Or the pills.
Take me to a funeral home you scrawled on a card.
Your body was naked, your son said. Perfect,
he said of your body. Slim and wiry at 78.
A young man’s. Almost.
I see the house you built
in Buenos Aires, bricklayer.
I see Abuela’s bric-a-bracs.
I see you pouring boiling water
into the storm drain
the unbearable shrieking
One crazy mother really
accessorized with a straw hat
who on a muggy day swung a tow chain at his neighbor
for blocking his driveway yet another time.
you never screamed
but I could see
a darkness rise up
and trip your tongue
like a foreign accent.
Itself another body, this revolver. Later
wrapped in thick plastic an artifact from WWI
utilitarian and dully mechanical
in need of oil.
Its hammer filed down, therefore
killing the gun that killed you.
Google Street View
won’t get me past your front door.
But I still see you,
removing papery wasp nests
with a stick
as sole protection.
The olive tree
demands tending, as always. I see you,
Abuelo, salt in hand.
in your wake.