We notice it happening, or as a friend simply said, “No one takes care of each other anymore.” We were walking as the sun set in beach fog, bicycles and homeless men exchanging clothes; let’s just say, our laughter was noticed. Later, at the restaurant bar, I ordered an Aberlauer 12, a big rock in it, a polar bear asleep in shy gold, and I watched as the other patrons receded into the universe that wasn’t yet made; we talked about his boss, the fifty-something workaholic with the twenty-something girlfriend. I told him I believed everyone in America was a workaholic, thinking how offended I get when people ask me what a teacher does over the summer months. Well, for the first couple of weeks, you stare down at your black, buckled shoes and berate yourself for not getting a seasonal job; you face down questions like: “So, you’re just going to watch your kids?” That finally stops. And you go out to watch the birds when you have time. You smoke too many cigars, and you read about philosophers like Edmund Burke, who believed property and class would save us all.
Alejandro Escudé’s first book of poems, My Earthbound Eye, was published in September 2013. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from UC Davis and teaches English. Originally from Argentina, Alejandro lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.