Joseph Rios – The End of a Fresno Summer

Joseph Rios

The End of a Fresno Summer

For Ethan Pacheco

The leaf footed bugs are crowding the ripe pomegranates
and my little cousin wants to crush juice for the first time. 
The soil in the backyard is like moon powder 
and it’s the color of ash. The hills are on fire, again.
You know, I’ve long admired our chemical skies, but 
I don’t think I’ve ever seen the sun this red.
It’s like we put a silk over the lamp again. It’s red 
like the tissue in my hand stained with my blood
or the pink fruits reddening skin or, of course, the arils
as they spill onto my faux granite countertop. 
I think there’s a breeze. Man, I hope that’s a breeze. 
I should say one of those DeNiro lines like: I wish 
a big rain would come and wash over this whole town
and I want you to know that I mean it. Me and the kid 
make enough to fill a bottle to take home. No one knows, 
but I’m counting down the days ’til I get to ignite my own flame
in the wall furnace. Boy, what a roar it’s gonna make. 

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