by maggie jaffe
Inside, cool forced air of Hotel
Casa del Zorro’s cozy bar.
Outside, an alien tamarisk tree sips H20
insatiably as a golfcourse, and toxic
oleanders hedge the pool where a sunburned
boy with orange flippers and a gold watch
swims in circles. The Anza Borrego desert
begins at the edge, secretive as a side?winder,
unforgiving by June’s end. The piano
player sneezes and adjusts his synthesizer.
Long?nosed, intellectual seeming and badly
bent with arthritis, when he plays something
sad from the 50s, even Yuppie cowboys
feel the ache. Freshly showered, newly prozaced,
I step to the bar. At 49, I have the best-
looking tits in this womanless, over-priced saloon.
Hunched over his pitcher of Margaritas,
is that son-of-a-bitch who broke
my heart? So what. The piano
player takes a spin on the stool next
to mine, and though he’s upbeat,
waving his hands over his crystal
goblet of Armagnac, he says, let’s walk
into the desert and never come back.