Dogs 2013

THE GHOST OF RAUL
(7/18/13)


it started
when things
in our home
were moved
every so slightly
from their
original positions

shifted over
an inch or two

rotated
90 degrees

as if shoppers
in a store
had been through
to examine
the merchandise

we just
suspected
each other

then
loose change

pennies

dimes

centavos

appeared
in odd places
on the floor

kitchen
counter

toilet
tank lid

next
the cigarette
butts

not Marlboros
or Lucky Strikes
but home
rolled
on yellowed
paper

left in
random
out of the way
places

no one
smoked
in our house

finally
we began
to make discreet
inquiries
about town
when doors
locked/unlocked
themselves

lights
turned on/off
in empty
rooms

the dog
found in/out
when we were sure
we had left him
in the opposite
state

one day
a knock
on the door
revealed an old
Latino

"it is
my brother
Raul"

was all
that he
said

normally
a visitor
of this ilk
would be
asked to leave
with extreme
prejudice

but within
the context
of the current
scenario
we invited
him in
immediately

asked him
to sit

and brought
him
an iced tea

"he always
admired
the homes
in this neighborhood

he laid
bricks
for many
of them

but he
lamented
the fact
that he would
never live
in such luxury"

we said
that we thought
we understood

although
we admitted
that we were
a bit disturbed
by his brother's
presence
and asked
if there was
a way
to move him
away

he drained
the last
of his drink

stood up

and simply
said

"sí"

he went
back outside
opened
the passenger door
of his old
rusty truck

opened
a can
of Tecate beer
and placed it
on the dash

"hold
your front door
open
por favor"

we did
and he climbed
into the driver's side
and honked
the horn

twice

we waited
and watched
expectantly
but the old man
just looked
straight ahead
through the
windshield

all
of the sudden
the passenger door
closed
of its own
accord

the driver
waved at us
then pulled
away

we were
too stunned
to wave back
until he was
almost
a half a block
down
the street

~

I kinda
miss
Raul

my wife
however
thought
that he was
a complete
slob