Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts


by Rafael Montes


God or whatever.



spare me this amble—

the slow walk dirge of these low-T men,

slurring their steps through Navarro.

Spare me these tiny collapsible handcarts,

these frail aluminum frames—loaded down

by tins of saltines, a six-pack of Boost,

a small hand of bananas. Still,

too many to eat before they turn black.


Spare me the talk of the track,

the hot short-bus to the casino,

tales of the Lotto—

as uncaring as Medicare or women.

I don’t want pockets crammed with torn race tickets.

I don’t want the frayed shirt, or

the belly’s war against the buttons.

I don’t want to wear those shoes,

some gift from some daughter

too busy and too uncomfortable to call now.


God or whatever.



take me upright and unafraid of sugar.

Take me when I still have a fragment of fight in me.

If you can’t,

or you won’t,

I just pray to have a cart of my own.

The will to shop.

Wheels that turn.