syllable knots & milkweed—

In full sun ginger will roll up: crinkles might be the word for leaf movement. Everything around it curled & hot—.
What I’m saying is about Texas sun, which is Mexican sun. Perhaps you are familiar with this kinda heat.
In the courtyard I sit with my left foot callused & my sole visible—to Martin the Cholo with his blue khakis yanked down to his fat white calves, but he’s fixed on the sprawling strawberry drooling its yellow ooze down his thigh.
A fat patch of pubes sneaks over elastic banding his undershorts, striped blue & soaked enough to see thru.
He told me about his father. Or was telling me on our bikes when we crashed with our backpacks full of books & water, a couple of tacos—yes, Mexicans with tacos in their satchels in Texas, under the whole sun, on blue lowrider bikes.
When he fell, I was 24. Homeboy: 29.
“Toma.” I handed him the hose. “Here.”
“Fuuuuuuuuk, guey. It hurts. ay, ay ay ay ay”—the syllable knot exits his lips. Water besets his thick-ass, big, tree-trunk thighs so deeply that I give no fucks as I lay back in my lawn chair, feet thrown up like two birds, even my fucked-up foot with its hardened parts & its sins.
I don’t know how I do it.
I don’t know how but I bring these vatos over to my duplex with my dogs & my plants, naming the golden goddess & Buddha’s belly, black bamboo, too, the Mexican firebush & silverado sage, pride of Barbados, milkweed, ginger, & mistflower—like any one of these vatos might give a good shit about things that grow out of the ground & live for the sun once my tongue starts planting itself in his mouth, promising him shit he’s never seen—.

Joe Jiménez is the author of The Possibilities of Mud (Kórima 2014) and Brightest Noise, a young adult novel (forthcoming, Arte Público 2016). Jiménez holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. For more, visit