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Reading and Napping

Even if it was not night
they insisted they were a vampire.
Sometimes I felt chewed-up,
but not in that sexy way. But
chewed up in silence, which is
a sensation beyond a name.
In that silence my eyes imagined
a color not yet invented,
like the color tamale or corrido.

All afternoon we’d read. Me, Neruda
until the shore arrived at my chair.
They read textbooks, about film
or French. The vampires’
favorite language.

Sometimes I dozed and dreamed
I was singing love songs
in Spanish and stray dogs would
come listen. A young boy would
arrive too and tempt the dogs with
a bone or fish.

When I woke, they would be gone, leaving
the same note, illustrated with
glorious calaveras and flowers.
Insisting that they were immortal like
ocean breezes. They said I should
join them in this adventure or
a reckoning. Suddenly
I could remember what made me happy.

Christopher Rubio-Goldsmith was born in Merida, Yucatan, grew up in Tucson, Arizona and taught English at Tucson High School for 27 years. Much of his work explores growing up near the border, being raised biracial/bilingual and teaching in a large urban school where 70% of the students are American/Mexican. A Pushcart nominee, his writings will appear in Drunk Monkeys, Sky Island Journal and have been published in Allium Journal, Book Of Matches and other places too. His wife, Kelly, sometimes edits his work, and the two cats seem happy.

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