Someone Named Gutierrez: A Dream, A Western

By | 1 July 1999

Outside the cantina
with you in the backseat of a ruined DeSoto,
torn upholstery, vinyl mange
and the big old radio’s static frying
what could only be a Dixie Cups tune.
Things had gone terribly bad,
and Slim, who drove us the whole long way
through the chaparral and dust,
was in there now, with them,
asking for the money he had no right to,
had no right to even ten years back
when the fire was, or so he says.
They nearly killed him then,
the fool, the braggart, the Suicide Kid,
just itching after a good old-timey
late afternoon cowboy send-off,
blood and gold and glinting side arms,

with us stuck back there yet, hove-to
in the back seat like two kids
waiting for Dad.
When you touched me,
the lightest of touches, the most unforeseen,
carelessly along the wrist.
I nearly came unglued.
I mean, I knew about Ramone,
that lovely boy—and for so long,
the two of you. I cherish that photo still,
your white tam-o’-shanter, his red TransAm.
Then I became water.
Then, from what had once been my chest,
a plant made of light effloresced.
Thus, our adventure began, our slow-motion
free-fall through the vapours and oils.
I stammered at your white flesh.
And that,
that’s when the shooting began.

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