Joseph Rios – Field Guide: Calwa, CA

Joseph Rios

Field Guide: Calwa, CA

In our neighborhood there is a tree that produces 
bags of Hot Cheetos and Cool Ranch Doritos.
In the fall, I rake the empty bags from the rain gutter. 

The parked cars are covered in layers of dust. 
I tell neighbor kids a giant spider came through years ago 
and trapped these cars with a big spray of its webs. 

The roosters spend mornings strolling the sidewalks 
like old people from the 1950s. They even tip their hats
to each other as they casually smoke their glass pipes. 

The fathers belong to an ancient tribe of bulldog worshipers. 
They shave their heads and tattoo paw prints on their faces. 
I’m told it’s customary to wear thigh high socks with sandals.

Every scary pooch around here is named after a Disney character 
and has its own Mexican grandma that shuffles around 
with a walker and a hose sprinkler to every corner of their yard. 

When I’m not home, I watch the cigartree do yoga
on the doorbell camera. When the stray cats join in, 
I zoom in as they take turns impersonating one another. 

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