rudie can't fail in south padre

there was a rude boy on my jean jacket. black suit, shades and hat, skanking where orange street met birmingham. two-tone ska a second skin, a way to believe, though unsure why. days on this island with wasted republican frat boys and sorority girls, pompous u.s citizens, northern americanos with trust funds. only white dudes in sight without reagan hair are in the front of the car, a sputtering nondescript, and later pugs, the skinhead in boots and leather below unfiltered sun, unsure if peyote caps or heat is source of glistening blister of a head. an equally overdressed chubby blonde woman at his side who he swears sounds just like janis. on cue, val fills the hotel courtyard where my misfit crew hope for a corner of a floor not coated in puke or recent sex rented by bobcat’s brother’s sigma hate niggas fraternity. her dense wail careens off ten stories like a friday night public address system. so close to another why not join the hollow migration? us, funboy three, avoiding the same people in a different country. tequila, laughter and respect. then border patrol. stinking agave as he checks licenses and cargo space. when he opens the back door, rudy rests beside skinny black sophomore with a flat top. one front pocket open, the other concealing skunk. i consider what dank brick lines the cells, how long i will drink sweat because it tastes better than juarez prison chow. he reaches in the open pocket, returns rude boy to the seat. welcome home, boys. enjoy yourself, he says. it’s later than you think.

Quraysh Ali Lansana, "rudie can't fail in south padre." Copyright © 2017 by Quraysh Ali Lansana. Used by permission of the author for PoetryNow, a partnership between the Poetry Foundation and the WFMT Radio Network.
Source: PoetryNow (2017)
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