Tableau With Self-Dealing, Affordability Index, and Endless Construction

The miracle of the city, the administrator says, is its potential growth. You lure developers in, you become a developer yourself, and reap abatements, rebates, work creation incentives. I’m retiring at 50 he says, I have some land in The Resacas. Do you know where that is? Yes, I say. A sunrise there means someone else gets nothing but night.

This morning I decided to walk from one end of the parking lot to another. When I was done I had gone the entire length of the nation and discovered that more parking had been added where I’d started.

I heard someone say this: the more I run the better I will look, and the better I look the happier I will be. Then his bike ran into a telephone post. It wasn’t him talking, it was the speed.

In the past, at this hour, most people would construct a boat. But I run my engine at full blast and hurl insults at the road’s lack of speed.

You own the bacteria of your body, your pubic hair, nail trimmings. You own potential which is just the same as saying you own nothing. If you’re quiet you may be allowed to lease your own house back from the thief who took it, but you acknowledge how you are no longer a thing capable of owning.

Rodney Gomez is a member of the Macondo Writers Workshop and served as the 2020-2021 McAllen, Texas Poet Laureate. His most recent collection is Arsenal with Praise Song (Orison Books, 2021), recipient of the Helen C. Smith Memorial Award for best book of poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters and the Writers’ League of Texas Book Award. 

His work appears in PoetryNew England ReviewThe Gettysburg ReviewDenver QuarterlyPoetry Daily, and other journals. His current project is supported by an Academy of American Poets Poet Laureate Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, a Yale Mellon Arts & Practitioner Fellowship, and a De Groot Foundation grant.


Twitter: @rodneyxgomez

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