Denise Kinsley: Princess in Tijuana Approximately a Mile from the U.S./Mexico Border

Spring '13 TOC


A few day old churros behind glass—a vendor’s cart, a heat lamp blaring; stuck behind the line; inside the car: a pink keg cup left from the bachelorette party, silly streamers, sparkly flowers, her crown, and the beach towel lemon yellow and tattered. El Super advertises new skivvies, blow pops; the Mexican flag waves cars, vans & trucks move so slow we see everything—limbs and cheeks stuck to seats; bodies abandon vehicles to go shopping; take a leak. Things not street selling: clamatos chakas con pulpo, diablitos y bolis de rompope. It’s too hot. Roses in plastic vase set in front dark, wrinkled face.

I see the old woman’s eyes I met in Mexico City & children hide behind marigolds—round and colorful. When my face was  a white skeleton; she gave me a piece of weird candy. I smiled. She winked a life of poverty, handed me a shiny Virgin de Guadalupe—hanging from a black cord. I offered money, but she turned away—harrowing to me.

Now, all the white right shoulders are red. No paper in the car, so I write teeny-tiny on the last blank pages of my Jack Kerouac paperback—the burning sun. We all have to piss so bad, real bad—it hurts. I suggest: the pink, plastic, party cup

Crouch behind the passenger's seat, wrap a sarong and try to pee. Too much pressure; too much exposure. I’m bleeding. I can’t. I try again. I say, “Keep it cool, turn up the jams.” 

Tu necesitas de mi,
Yo necesito de ti,
Tu necesitas amor, de mi amor o ven aqui

With the windows down & no air conditioning—we save gas, breathe fumes. I finally seek relief —filling cup to the brim with strawberry lemonade—it's hot!—I almost drop it! Quick! pour it out the car door crack onto the asphalt—blood & urine steam—crawling toward the U.S. Border Control.



Not Enough Night
Not Enough Night
© 2012 Naropa University