The tree is on our neighbors land, but mostly hangs over our house. All plants are anarchists and respect no borders.
The man on the other side buys a long pole with a blade. He stands at the fence, reaches over and trims our side. He does us the favor of cutting down all of the seeds he can reach. I wish he were as helpful when it came time to rake the leaves.
He seems much less concerned with his side. And let’s the tree grow wild and free. Even the avocados he ignores.
He would rather see them fall and rot then have someone take what’s his. Still the tree mostly hangs over our house. An anarchist makes his own justice.
I was staying with a family member in a beautiful Victorian style house out in West Oakland. It was a home he was deeply proud of. I don’t know what he did to become the owner, but I’m sure it cost him his pound of flesh. The only thing that matched his intense love for the home was his hatred for the vacant lot across the street.
For years he complained to the city about the mountains of brush and trash that had become a serious fire hazard for the whole neighborhood. No one ever came to deal with it. One day, he confronted the problem directly by buying a goat and tossing it over the fence.
The goat spent its days trimming the brush and soon plant and animal created a perfect little ecosystem. The goat became a local attraction. People would stand for a long while, pushing green grass into the chain links. Little kids passed waving, like they were at the zoo.
Then one day my uncle gingerly climbed the fence and slaughtered the fat little goat right then and there. As we enjoyed our plate of birria, everyone praised his great idea of buying the goat.
There’s something hiding in every Latina.
I’ve never seen one without.
Somewhere deep inside,
There is a bruja waiting.
You can’t quite grab hold of it,
A color just on the edge of the spectrum.
A tone just a little out of earshot.
and old as the garden of Eden.
Sometimes I can see it,
Deep behind the eyes.
A communion with something forgotten,
but still there.
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