you have made it here today

1. i don’t know if it’s culturally appropriative or not
to use the word
to talk about someone
who never was a japanese world war two suicide pilot bomber
but who rides the streets
like a tornado
like a bull
like hell on wheels
in order to make it
to the campus shuttle
before it takes off
without us

2. i don’t remember the name of the street
where the woman waited
to cross
with her i.v. hookup
bags suspended from metal poles on wheels

3. it seems that no matter how cool it gets
in this town
it doesn’t take long
on mi bicicleta
to warm up

4. (liz taught me about tucking spanish
into the folds of english
and also
someone said in an email
after all, you are living in a border town)

5. kaya
pouring a plastic bread bag of breakfast flakes
into a mason jar of homemade soymilk
and spooning it out
on the shuttle
zooming north towards campus
on the i-5

6. soulship photos
bouncing off satellites
heading steadily north and east
into the smokesmog of forest fires

7. it is surprising
how an orientation
in a room of about 1,ooo new grad students
can tug at me
when the speakers give voice
to some truths
i would never allow myself to believe
or would never think a university
might touch on in their introduction
here they are:
you are the best and the brightest
you survived a highly competitive process
and you have made it here today

we pride ourselves in the interdisciplinary nature
of our university where we are creative, tenacious and collaborative

if you’re going to be brilliant
you might as well be brilliant together

you are the crem de la crem
we are notoriously picky
it’s very hard to get into this university

and now that you’re in
this may very well be your last chance
to have an intellectual fesat

8. the photos
come in
one by one

and include
a jaywalking fox
at nght

9. rain and zac
blessing the dinner
(deep fried vegetable pouches)
on the floor
in their room
before we put it in our mouths