As our car exits the country club gates
on the round-about street that leads
to the children’s tutor, we are forced
to a stop. Two whip cracks of gunfire
and the street vendors duck under
their tables tiled with pirated CDs,
baskets upturned, the day’s bread
spilled across the sidewalk
into the gutter and I scream
and scream at the driver, doors,
are the doors locked? while
trying to blindfold my son
with my palms, but he pries
my fingers apart as the jolt
of the bullet knocks an old man
against the curb.
Our car at a standstill, front row
I see the man with the gun
crossing the street—and by man
I mean a 15-year-old boy, tattooed
skull and face—his mouth curving,
the two hooks that rip the seam
of his lips into a full toothed smile.
Alexandra Lytton Regalado is the winner of the St. Lawrence Book Prize and the Coniston Poetry Prize. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in Narrative, Gulf Coast, The Notre Dame Review, cream city review, Puerto del Sol, and elsewhere. Her full-length collection of poems, Matria, (Black Lawrence Press) is forthcoming in 2017.