Juan Alvarado — Fuji Apples

Para Guadalupe

Around the end of fall
Memo would come see me
bringing a carton of bruised apples

he had tattoos of eyes on his forearm
looking
               left    right
               up     down

It was summer everyone
went to the pool or the mall
except me and Memo
he was packing     getting ready to head upstate again

I asked him about Nietzsche     about the prison house of language

He said
                this pen
                this skin
                this ass

I kissed him
I didn’t know I could do that
Jesus never kissed his disciples
on the lips
nor did men kiss in history books
or Disney movies
never seeing anyone in public
                                      hold hands
                                      hug each other
                                      say I love you

we were both naked in bed
I asked him about the apples
the bosses gave them away for free
brown bruises means unsaleable

we smoked herb from one that night
showed each other how to handle
how to hold
how to shift
how we can both eat
an unsaleable

Later in summer my parents started calling me by names

sin vergüenza
joto
mariposa
maricon

I bought pens     a notebook
started drawing a point
                   started to curve around
                   going farther away
                   until I was at the edges of the paper

I gave it to Memo’s father     told him to mail it to him
A letter came a month later
                                    I opened it
            saw an illuminated eye
drawn on the back my drawing