Devendra says he does not give a rat’s ass, guns it and scrapes hard, crushing the downspout drain with his jitney cab just to prove it.
The club owner is standing outside smoking, but he just drives past, no apologies:
Shit happens—just keep going.
That’s what he says.
I jump in fast up front and hold on.
He drops the men in back at another club. It’s raining and they want curb service and umbrellas. He has a stash in the trunk.
He gets back into the car, wet, huffing.
Is it alright if I . . . I start.
Hells yeah, he says
and shoves his last tip bills at my purse.
Drunk boys bang on the hood, humping the cab and rubbing their khakis on my window.
This shit, he says
and drives off.
Takes me to his room.
He lets me be, lets me plop on his bed.
My heels are soaked.
He props them by the radiator. The paper insoles crack and rise.
He lets me dry out as he sits cross-legged at the end of the bed, smoking in the dark.
I watch the red coal of his cigarette breathing with him, neon glow, a watchful dragon with a small jewel in its maw.
He lets me cry and sleep.
I draw on paper bags and dream of mountains and Mother.
She says the garden is fifty fucking percent trash trees and briar, as she leans on her hoe, smiling and smoking. With one hand she sweeps her brown hair, tucking it under a tortoise shell:
Just keep talking and crying.
She’s going to hang my clothes out tomorrow on the sun porch.
And tomorrow is a grapefruit slowly shrinking in a bowl,
an avocado pit skewered in a juice glass,
egg curry and toast.
Devendra bought me a tin of watercolors.
I spend the morning
dropping small white dots
on the red brick mountain,
One thousand times over:
cherry blossoms of snow.