This is your last gesture,
buying a scarf big enough to hide your work
on my neck.
I will wear it on the train home
and wonder if it will be a cocktail party conversation
years from now.
Your name may escape me,
but I can point out where you and I kicked up dust.
My abuelos became braceros
for moments like these.
If it means becoming a case study
in devotion gone wrong,
I’ll release footage
of him setting the first wildfire
to sweep through me.
I wouldn’t thank him until after.
After the time lapse runs,
when I can be seen from space again.
Oswaldo Vargas is a former farmworker and graduate from the University of California, Davis, where he studied history, human rights and Jewish studies. Prior publications include Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color, The Louisville Review, and the upcoming Puro Chicanx Writers of the 21st Century anthology. He lives in Sacramento, California.
Image: “Untitled” by Danniella Louise