In Alabaster

My father tells me what it is like in Alabaster, the city of grain.

“The cigars are made of cocoa, and the lipstick women use to kiss their husbands, tastes like mango.”

His legs jitter underneath the dinner table as my mother sets down the box of Chinese takeout.

“What else is there?” I ask.

“Feathers dropped by its pigeons float the way bubbles do, and pop as if they were fireworks littered with fireflies.”

I start slurping the noodles from my plastic fork faster than I did before the more I get excited. My mother has a worrisome and tired expression on the entire duration of dinner. My father has a disgruntled attitude when his flip phone rings for the fourth time. He mutes the sound and then continues.

“There, the poor have showers that smell how coffee beans smell, and farmers harvest onions that drop like mint on your tongue, there ar—” The phone rings again, my father grinds his teeth at the caller ID that reads Work.

“Dear, you should answer it.” He hangs up again.

“They just want me to organize some stock, I’m in no rush.”

“Dear, please, you’re cutting it close, you should go before they decide to call to tell you don’t show up.”

My father grunts and then forces himself to swallow the rest of his food, not bothering to chew much.

“Till next time, son.” He stands up, fully exposing his supermarket polo uniform.

“When can we go visit!” I jump.

“How about next summer, or if we can’t during the summer then we’ll go for one weekend in the spring?”

“Honest?”

“You bet!”

“Yes!” I clamor.

“Sounds like a plan.” He gives me a thumbs up.

Walking out the apartment door, my father whistles an arrhythmic tone, only to be interrupted by the ringing of his phone.

Jasiel Diez’s poem, “Steps,” has been accepted into Axis, the creative arts magazine of Miami Dade College North Campus. He currently lives in Florida, but is moving soon to study Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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