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Christopher Rubio-Goldsmith

Crash Landing

An evening with you was a crash landing

in a storm. Your head onto my knees, going

down into the jungle, the ocean, 

cliffs, a distracted shepherd looking 

at the ground, and his flock 

of fat sheep watching the spiral 

before the doom.

Your words, Russian novels

Your skin, Mexican surreal poetry

Your eyes, all Sex Pistols and Black Flag

I have never depended

on happy endings or heroes riding

off into clear sunsets and evenings

but watching you in cut off jeans

pouring tequila

into a glass with a Scooby-Doo image

just made me forget the nature

of responsibility, class time, 

work schedule, and washing the sheets.

Making a get-a-way was not 

between my fingertips or

on the list of needs tacked 

to the back door

One summer you left 

the day just creaking and groaning

like always like usually like the LP

of boredom and sequence

I imagined looking for you 

wearing a silver bullet pendant

with pockets full of garlic

and extra wool socks I could use

for bandages or to stoke a fire.


How might you celebrate

the end of the world?

Swaying with a feral cat 

crowd of people,

in rock concert t-shirts, liquored up,

near a huge deep pool, daring each other

to swim with pockets full

of stones and large metal washers?

Everyone enduring

stale chips and bad radio pop

music that made you mad at yourself 

for knowing the words.

And through the atmosphere,

sounds of exploding dog packs,

their black and brown paws speeding 

up the avalanche of suburbia.

And what if this group evolves into smoke, or

shadows in rain and forever becomes no time at all.

Maybe the music ends,

you and a few others flood into

the dark humid night. The stars

icing the sky, a voice from the future of plans

announces cancellations. 

The foolish nature of faith is really

the marching on of seasons decaying out of order. 

This might be how it all 

finishes. The musician alone

in the corner trying to 

fix his red horn. A new north

that tricks compasses

or a horizon that unholsters 

a violent edge like fire in dry grass.

Christopher Rubio-Goldsmith was born in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, grew up in Tucson Arizona, and taught English at Tucson High Magnet School for 27 years. Since he grew up near the border and in a biracial, bilingual home and taught in a big urban high school where more than 70 percent of the students where American-Mexican, much of the poetry he writes explores these experiences. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Arizona. His writings have appeared in 580 Split, The Laurel Review, Fourteen Hills, the anthology, America, We Call Your Name and others.

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