Charlotte Lowe

The Matter Is


The matter is, our lives
take us driving too slowly down sun-stunned alleys,
gliding over broken glass in our broke-down Impala,
tracing the southside’s old Pachuco face
crevassed with arroyos, cracked asphalt. My hand
touches you, jumps like Spanish, a language I don’t
understand.

Why do we stay in the barrio?
My thumb hitches into your Russian cheekbone.
You are a defector floating softly away like the moon.
Going home from the grocery store in a gypsy cab, milk spoiling,

meat glowing fluorescent green, I cross myself at the red light.
This is my child, our arms, the speedometer is
high and steady as fever.

You’re drunk, give me your hand like money. High, I smooth it out
like dollars. How many clocks,
irons, alarms will we wear out? I roll
out of your arms like groceries.
Why do we live in South Tucson? Didn’t you live here once
with your wife
and it didn’t work out?




Charlotte Lowe is a poet who lives and writes in Patagonia, Arizona. She studied creative writing in the M.F.A. Program at the University of Arizona and most recently at Naropa University. She has worked two careers: poet-in-the-schools and journalist.

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