We’re not in L.A. anymore—but
inside your car it’s the same car
that sputtered across the 101 with
out air-conditioning and a broken radio.
Even the insects still want to live inside.
We are taking Lula to see
Pirates of Penzance.
You mutter the usual.
But I know you remember,
last summer—how we listened
to mariachis on Olvera St.
while Lula ate paletas.
She had to try every flavor, she explained,
& of course you let her, shaking your pockets
free of coins, curly head bouncing away,
before you told me you were moving back,
to live with your sister—to kick.
The Cape is hot this summer. We are sweating.
Only yourwindow rolls down,
& I want to say:
When we were young, do you remember?
Our pirate ships? Our duels? Our songs?
I want to ask. But I don’t.
Inside the open ashtray,
between us, the moth settles in.
Lula—in the backseat, tells us
not to stop its fluttering.
It’s an angelo, she says. It will flap
back to god and tell on you.
The first time I caught you in the bathroom,
your eyes were so red, I thought you’d already disappeared.
But it’s taking years. We are still here now with the trees
flashing past us. You fade slow. A rose above a mirror.