Right on Lincoln, left on Venice, half a block up.
It is three o’clock on Sunday, and the streets
of Los Angeles are heavy with people.
The place still has the same coat of paint,
same color at least.
My wife rests her hand on my thigh,
and asks, “Is this is it?”
“Yes,” I say, “This is where he died.”
We had been dancing that night,
waiting for dinner to finish.
Me, my sister, and Albert, three kids
shoved into the small space between sink and stove.
Then the windows caved in around us,
glass like rain in hair and eyes,
hum of bullets, piercing air like kisses,
plaster hiccupping off the walls,
and the scream of my sister, bacon grease
splashed from pan to arm.
My cousin, Albert, his face left me that day,
went from cheeks, and eyes, and lips, to nothing.
There was so little blood.
Just a raggedness with teeth,
clumps of hair and something dark like wetness.
The radio never stopped playing,
the thump of ranchero music echoing in the house.
It’s been 20 years, and still this place is home.
My wife and I drive by, hum of motor and music
spaced between our silence.
I close my eyes and try to remember his face, Albert’s, and I can’t.
All I can see is the yard of the home, upturned,
filled with holes where trees were pulled up,
and nothingness was left.