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Also by Lisa Chavez:
The White Professor Holds Forth on Indians | Surrender | Guns
SurrenderHe was the one I couldn't resist
his voice alluring as distant thunder
on a summer afternoon, thrilling me
with the possibility of danger and the promise
of rain. Like thunder, his voice offered
a thrill of pleasure; my legs went wavery
as water at his words. I left a husband for him,
a child. All I had were his stories,
the shimmery future he wove for me
as we lay in a sweat-soaked motel bed.
I believed it all, and so did he,
though that future was never quite
in sight. Now his words buzz like blue
bottle flies, nuisances I wish I could just slap
away. His hope faded with opportunities
that never arose, with the slow loss
of his lookssandy hair turned dry and sparse
as the grass growing beside our trailer.
He still drinks his whiskey without water,
but in the morning his hands shimmy
like his old truck as he guides the doctored coffee
to his mouth. The bad boy collapsed
into this ruined man. Some afternoons, drunk
on memories and dollar shots, he flirts
with the girls bored enough
to find their way to this end-of-the-road
dive. He tries to spin his magic, and his voice
it's still goodsugar smoky and smooth.
A couple of quarters in the juke box
and he asks them to dance, and sometimes
they do. He's no longer the agile
man who spun me into a trance,
now he lumbers along as the girls
gaze past himoutdated and pitiful
as a lame dancing bear.
Friends pity me as they watch his pathetic
Printed in the Spring/Summer 2000 issue of CLR
Lisa D. Chavez is a Chicana Mestiza born in Los Angeles on the winter solstice, and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Her first book of poetry, Destruction Bay, was published by West End Press, and her second, In An Angry Season, was published by the University of Arizona Press (Camino del Sol). She's had poems published in The Americas Review, The Colorado Review, Blue Mesa Review and Prairie Schooner among other places, and had poems included in the anthologies Floricanto Si! A Collection of Latina Poetry (Penguin), The Floating Borderlands: 25 Years of U.S. Hispanic Literature (University of Washington Press), and American Poetry: The Next Generation (Carnegie Mellon Press). Her creative nonfiction—part of a longer memoir-in-progress—has appeared in Fourth Genre, The Clackamas Literary Review and other places.
She teaches at the University of New Mexico Albuquerque.
Published by Clackamas Literary Review, in print and on the web at
clackamasliteraryreview.com, www.clackamas.cc.or.us/clr, and webdelsol.com/CLR
Copyright © 2001-2002, Clackamas Community College