stare. smile.

we drove up the 5 freeway.
my nephew, baby jack
was baptized yesterday.
he gave blank stares. smiles.
big, big brown eyes.
as i congratulated him.
he sucked on his finger.

he’s only 1. i asked him
“do you know what
just happened?”
he continued to suck
on his finger. this time
catching a runny booger.
dressed in white satin.

the priest isn’t familiar
with anyone. and i wonder.
who started this tradition.
a crowd of ‘c-and-e’ goers.
now add ‘b’ to their calendars.
their blank stares. smiles.
their finger stuck to their cameras.

it was windy and cold. we made
our way to the after-soiree.
i shared a beer with the
God parents. bottle of pacifico.
six flags was near. we were
much more north of everything.
i sucked on my finger.

after the ceremony
we enjoyed carrots
broccoli. tomatoes. and ranch.
on fold-out tables. with
a blow-up jumpy-thing in the back.
as i rapped with neighbors. and
got a taste of their flavor.

i was the outcast. so i wash it down
with kirkland bottled water.
then headed back down
the 5 freeway. my family sleeps.
at 1 am we were interrupted.
to my youngest screaming.
throw-up chunky-things in his bed.

spots of carrots. broccoli. and tomatoes.
in a paste. the sour smell i still can’t get rid of.
still embedded in my nose.
no fever. no symptoms. no one knows.
but he didnt go to school. i called in sick.
got my blank pad. my pen. i stared.
smiled. and i started to write this.