1801 Gold Ave. SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
He never didn't address me as sir.
It was always, "Can you stand, sir?"
"Can you step over here, sir?
"Can you lean forward a bit, sir?"
He was short, stocky, built as if every muscle wanted to erupt from skin,
covered by a shirt whose buttons were decoration,
perfectly creased, not straining but sized
"I'm going to undo this, sir."
"Can you sign here, sir?'
"Oh...very well sir."
"That's a very strong hand, sir."
"The rest of this will be more worthwhile, sir."
The room seemed more like a grade school:
a plastic, too small, chair
a lone metal lamp with a 75 watt incandescent
that erupted shadows across the room.
"Sit here, sir."
"Can you drape your arms over this, sir?
"Now where were we sir?"
"Did you know him... sir?"
"He must've had that in the works for a while, sir?"
"Will his mother come and claim him, sir?"
"He will indeed be released, buried according to custom, sir."
The gloves were short, stretched across his wrist by leather that seemed new.
Black leather stretched across his knuckles,
a wedding band pressed up underneath,
a small tattoo hid along his wrist as if whispering lattitude, the longitude by degree,
a marker that made me say,
He was not on speaking terms with his mother.
Leave her out of this.
He stopped writing and stood up.
Pulled an oversize smock over his neck,
snapped his hands together like a brief applause,
and stared over the top of his glasses.
"Are those too tight, sir?"
"Can I get you some water, sir?"
"The lights might dim a bit, sir."
"This will feel a little cold, sir."
"The connections must be secure before we proceed, sir."
"This measuring your skin response, sir."
"I feel like I know you, sir."
"So, why would you detonate it there, sir?
September 21, 2011