On Having 5 Jobs
and none of them are blow-jobs because then I wouldn’t complain or write this poem, you see, everynight I dream the same dream but I die differently sometimes drowning in the sea sometimes driving on the street sometimes I just don’t remember, you see, when you have to apply to two or three positions everyday for a month, and interview after interview after interview and no one calls you back, you would sigh to death too, and I check my phone every ten minutes my e-mail every twenty minutes my bank account everyday, you see, I took the first five that unlocked their doors my foot kicked it right open eyes wide shut because I’m 33 and it’s not about my want but about necessity, you see, I’m choosing to take it from behind no glove all love choosing to know how it feels like when you wear the same pants two or three times a week to save money and buy granola bars for my kids who go to bed hungry come to school on empty, you see, I’ve seen happiness inside my wallet and tongue too but today I just barely get by I don’t lie don’t rhyme because I have to, you see, I babysit 7th graders with Fs and Ds the bruises from their uncle’s manthing I can’t see but I know they’re there, I smile and check ID’s check for tags suggest they sign up for our new rewards program, I introduce myself one hundred times before I go to bed, drive strangers to bars or wherever they need to go offer them a waterbottle a snack too, you see, and still my these brown hands must confine the lives of immigrants to 30 pages begging pleading some racist officer for lawful entry to the U.S. and approval of request for my client he’s a good person she’s a good mother please let them stay, you see, and the next day it’s the same thing same hands same smile same paycheck and the trees continue to bloom the sky begins to grey the sad eyes of my puppy don’t understand why I cry in the shower why I’m no longer there for dinner to sneak crumbs into his tiny mouth, you see, todo se acaba even this long long sigh bleeding from my fingers against keyboard at desk.
Luis Lopez-Maldonado is a Xicanx activist, poeta, playwright, dancer, choreographer, and educator. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California Riverside in Creative Writing and Dance. His poetry has been seen in The American Poetry Review, Foglifter, The Packinghouse Review, Public Pool, and Spillway, among many others. He also earned a Master of Arts degree in Dance from Florida State University, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame. He is currently adding his glitter to the Land of Enchantment, working for the public education system, and preparing for acceptance to The University of New Mexico, School of Law, where he plans to pursue immigration, criminal, and personal injury law.