our students by name

in the dream
we (3 or 4 of us)
gathered for dinner at the polish culture house
that i never knew existed
how we needed a car to get there and
how i could hear the squeezebox music
and see the green-skirt white-apron costume
how i stood back for perspective
how i appreciated the empty rooms and
the delight at the polish toy store
similar to the german toy store in pdx
only with cooler stuff
something like cement lions guarding the entrance
_______
lined up outside calabria cafe
10am scooter party
riders continue to roll up and park in packs
parrot man perched in wicker chair while
parrot perches on parrot man’s shoulder

_______

f talks about
choosing between education studies
and professorly/academic endeavors
americano in his hands
why not both
i ask
and then we talk about the importance
of knowing our students by name

_______

overheard on the sidewalk
drifting through open front door
and up entryway stairs
in what i assume to be a cis-male voice
just glad that we met each other that
no matter what, we’ll be friends
no matter what

_______

i diagram on my left hand
the non-linear line between
revitalization and gentrification
and later offer you my right
to tag
_______

outside el camino
under flight path roars
we take turns pointing/lecturing on the
wall-size menu
and then taking photos
of aforementioned spectacle

_______

inside el camino:
virgin of guadalupe candles lit and lining windows
wheatpasted grafitti walls
the double-starch combo of nachos + mac and cheese
hot pink ruffled aprons that match one of the walls in the highceilinged bathroom
sweet potato flautas
a pile of mini gums brought to our table with the checks including eucalyptus and rum flavors

_______

it’s not until CRG gets to the names/dates/cities
that her throat constricts
that she must breathe
through the tears
before continuing to read
and afterwords i tell her about
the kind of poet i want to be
is one who tears up/cries
at the podium

_______

i have a hard time understanding
why people make weird faces and ask increduloulsy
about a residency in nebraska
but don’t raise a question
about a residency in finland
they have obviously never fallen in love
with the quiet 10 layers deeper than any other quiet
under star-pricked sky
they have obviously never fallen in love
with the quiet 10 layers deeper than any other quiet
accompanied by the dust that rises
as cars pass along the dirt road which is the only road in
they have obviously never fallen in love
with the quiet 1o layers deeper than any other quiet
that accompanies the lightening bugs hovering silent flicking on and off
in the humid night
whose heat only breaks into cool air
in the wake of thunder/lightening cleaving apart sky
which means you climb into bed
shirtless
a thin sheet pulled up against your saltsweat skin

_______

one of the best things
about this tiny couch
is how it brings people close

_______

hair in knuckled hands
and the rest is about teeth
and edges