Albuquerque, ER Break Room: 2:05pm, 5/06/2005
“What was your trauma?”
“He fell off a horse-
then the horse fell on him.”
Tapping foot off time to the classical guitar,
a nervous tap, soft shoe, a brown clog.
“I don’t want to heat up the salmon too much fishy smell.”
“I’ve never even had a massage.”
“You lazy shit.”
Reaches around and tickles her.
Guitar cascading cords.
Cotton scrubs, blue, green, clean.
Plastic badges pinned and visible.
An intercom system blasting:
C8 is ready for Swift, Swift is ready for C8
Santa Fe, Juvenile Lock Down: 4:12pm 5/06/2005
“Are you carrying any weapons?”
“You left your grenades at home?”
Blue doors slide open and close, with a hollow metal click.
Walkie Talkie, “Be advised you have two visitors.”
40 cotton jumpers, plain, all brown.
They play Black Magic Woman.
One guy is shaking uncontrollably.
The guards see him.
Bring him out of the room.
Jamming, grrrl lock downs screaming,
boy lock downs howling.
The guy is shaking.
Shake out your arms, breath deep.
They play Hotel California.
The shaking guy sits down.
All the girls sing harmony.
As they file out, “Watch your personal space.”
When I ask one of the guards about the shaking boy,
she says, “Fine,” inhaling the word, turning her head down
and sliding her eyes shut.