Wednesday, October 04, 2023



is the most unforgiving

proof of gravity.

I arrive at

the pinnacle 

of the Hill of Hope,

and I stayed up there 

for a minute,

catching my breath,

basking in 

the infinite blue above 

and the intricate gray below.

As I stood there

high above the doubt

I struggled to conquer,

gusty winds 

threatened my balance 

trying to throw me

back down

to negativity,

nihilism and inertia.

Although it may

temporarily topple me,

I know my purpose:


remains the duty of anyone


who possesses it,

to be its evangelist,

a star in the darkness,

an embrace for the weary,

the gentle voice saying

“come in.”

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

The Unforgiving and Indifferent Sun


I’ve been acclimating myself

to this suburban desert

since I migrated here

30 years ago

to take this job

in academia.


In August’s stifling heat

I imagine

my Mexican ancestors

physically laboring

under the unforgiving and indifferent sun,

silently bemoaning

their plight to God

(who else could care?),


and I am privately shamed

by how disconnected I am

from them


as I sit in my air-conditioned


corner office



pecking at this keyboard,

trying to write


Monday, May 22, 2023

Pandemic Hoodie

As the world changed 
like a tidal wave 
of unseen particulates 
whose weight threatened 
to topple everything. 

I retreated to 
the corner of my house 
with the laptop 
and worked from home 
unsure of our 
collective tomorrow. 

That winter 
I remember 
it always seemed 
cold and gray 
and I would reach 
for the oversized, 
worn and faded 
navy blue zippered hoodie 
that I rarely wore. 

It was less a hoodie 
than it was a blanket 
of normalcy, 
a reminder of better days. 

I wrapped myself in it 
and cried, 
hid and 
generally kept working, 
often pulling the hood down 
over my eyes, 
as would a monk 
serving penance 
for a crime 
he didn’t commit. 

The hoodie became 
a second skin, 
dependable, protective 
and perpetually wrinkled 
(like my own skin), 
and I spent months 
soaking up all that 
loose, sloppy security. 

time didn’t stop, 
vaccines arrived, 
virus transmission slowed 
and I began breathing easier. 

The world began 
resembling something 
and I realized that my hoodie, 
worn out from use, 
full of holes yet holy, 
my 100% cotton talisman, 
was no longer necessary. 

Just as simply 
as it was announced, 
the national emergency ended: 

I made it 
through the pandemic 
without getting infected, 
where so many others 
had not. 

I quietly thanked God 
for my health, 
for the vaccine, 
for my enormous good fortune 
but mostly 

for the pandemic hoodie.