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20 May 2002 / 12:42 a.m.
.:  novena

a few nights ago, while i was drowning a toothache in whiskey, i heard a pop pop overture to panicked screams. in minutes i am filtering out the glow of red and blue lights reflecting off my monitor from the alley. cops are combing the neighborhood. lights are everywhere. the screaming stops, and the neighbors peer out from miniblinded windows.

turns out two kids were going to sock it up, and one decided it was a bad idea. when he turned to walk away he got two rounds between the shoulderblades. he died in the ER with his mom watching, wailing, crying to God.

i am just back from the 600 block. the police tape is gone. i left a novena candle for the kid. i lit it. jesus glowed, but he was out before i crossed the street. i didn't relight him.

when i lived in tucson, we'd drink vodka and smoke out on the balcony and listen to the distant staccato gunfire from the other side of broadway. a short walk would take you past the virgen de guadalupe wrapped around cheap glass, wax long gone, beneath the bank one sign.

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