Fries Are Up One day you realize that not one fucker in this heathen town loves you unconditionally so you seek another option, yoga, maybe herbal medicine or working double shifts emptying frozen French fries into vats of boiling oil – you’d always seen yourself being helped up from where you’d fallen by this unconditional love with your breasts all a-glitter and lipstick burying your mouth redder than your lover’s blood - but, in reality, life’s all stretching exercises, flakes of different shades of green in vials or a fast food kitchen with a bunch of women just like you, hair in nets, faces cooked, rushing to fill orders - one day, you get what’s coming to you or whatever it is that you had coming – there’s a difference there, a nuance, but, as yet, English, like unconditional love, is my second language – just don’t get me started on my first. The Ridiculous Boys I'm staring at a photograph, two guys from the barrio, Diego and Jabes, maybe taken ten years ago but they’re both dead now. I can barely hold this thing without repeating over and over – they’re dead as rocks, as door knobs, as the fence of the sugar mill they lean against like the gangsters they never were. I think my sister took this picture, two handsome boys, as alive as they ever going to be – so why is it, the longer I stare, the more I see death? Those two wise eyes, that glistening skin, the confidence – mascara, I call it. Now those t-shirts are dust. The levis, handed down. And the sneakers… stolen from their bodies for all I know. Dumb-ass, selfish, inconsiderate, estupido, tonto… their grins could just about eat all the shit I toss at them.
Juanita Rey is a Dominican poet who has been in this country five years. Her work has been published in Pennsylvania English, Opiate Journal, Petrichor Machine and Porter Gulch Review.