November slides on,

Pasty, then mild,

Drippy, mixed with sun and breeze ….


Dark blue tats up and down his strong arms,

Softer blue tats on her neck,

They’re waiting for the city bus.

Sun hot, exhaust fumes thick.

Drivers pass, contempt for anyone at a bus stop ….

No English, they send their six-year old

To ask me about the bus fare:

Fine English, kid, same for your little brother,

No tats – yet …


Under a crying mesquite,

She pushes into the tall man,

His deep black tat arms enfold her.

Her head rests on his chest.

White undershirt, solid body,

Sweet cigarette smoke ….

No car seat,

No apartment couch,

No house bed,.

“I tell her we’re ‘ old school’ out here,” he says.

She doesn’t catch the English,

Then, she smiles and nuzzles closer ….

Her hair shines black in the drizzle ….

Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, early November 2014


Author: Gene Novogrodsky

Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, a Brownsville resident for nearly three decades, writes North American border slices, from eastern Canada to central Mexico, and in between. He is one of the founders of the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center Writers Forum in San Benito. He sometimes participates with the informal Resaca Writers Group in Brownsville. He prefers, however, to read to two or three attentive listeners – when asked!


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