Floating Ladders1
By Christian Lozada

i, like her, didn’t care for him at first
with his stained wife beater and orange fingers
he was kind of a whiney dick
but i recognized his smell
his boundless desire
i, too with family in the east, wanted this city
to open up to me
and she, like me, wanted this first-stop-in-the-U.S. city
to embrace her

his smell, that too desperate smell,
lingered and his racism pulled me in
because i knew and hated huaraches
just like i knew and hated my brown skin
and my last name that ends with a soft vowel
we shared that hate for being neither fish nor fowl
and love for man and beast alike

camilla lopez
became our shared mayan princess
she who hated her huaraches
and brown skin

part of me was glad that the brown, harsh desert
swallowed his note to Camilla
because his heartbreak meant
i touched a piece of her he could not
because his heartbreak meant
he obviously learned nothing from us

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