Poetry: Albuquerque Frontier

By Joan Robins

The frontier was buzzing and bleating with humans and animals – lining up for their daily fix of vitamins and happy water.

Josie brought her javelina inside rather than risk someone shooting him for meat. There was safety in numbers even if one couldn’t afford the food. She pulled her cape around her shoulders and checked and rechecked her plastic pants pockets for spare change enough to get a doped-up tortilla spit out by the aging machine. Josie’s friend Sarah was smiling; she’d obviously drank the water and was wishing everyone Happy Halloween. Costumes were optional. Eighty-five-year-old Dan Straighter was completely nude, bent over, hobbling with a cane. No one paid him any attention.

Outside, the garbage piled up and stray dogs sorted through it for anything edible. Traps and tents covered the sidewalks and streets. Cars were down to one lane since gas stations had run out of gas and only solar power was available to run on. Each village around Albuquerque had its own security guards but who was paying them? Machine guns were cheap. Bodies were piled with the garbage. There was no home to go to.

Two Way Street has been partnering with OffCenter’s Writing Group since early 2018.

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