Tim Pompey

Same Town, Different Lives

Small leap from my street to old town. Turn right
on Oxnard Boulevard. Three minutes with lights
to its heart. 10 blocks, many miles across the border.
Latino cafes, clothes, pizza. Cowboy hats, pawn shops,
travel agency, Mexican music. Foot traffic to La Gloria
Market; day workers at 4th and Meta; a line wiring money
to Oaxaca. La Cultura. More than I can measure. Same
blood – different lives. From my eyes to theirs, staring,
tongues divided. Our homes – squeezed together.
Survivors by kismet. Mixed seeds scattered. What do
we say? What stories, what descriptions? And why
has God kissed us different? Then again, this is California.
Cars, people bound for avoidance. Moment to moment,
awake, asleep. Our souls forsaking the familiar for new
soil. Evolution, revolution frying. Burgers, burritos, dollars,
pesos, people, chopped into pico de gallo. And here we come,
eye to eye on a single block. Gone again in seconds, fellow
migrants separated by skin and speed. One more block,
now scattered, brief encounter, close but no touch.

Tim Pompey is a poet and musician currently residing in Oxnard, California. He has been published in journals throughout the U.S. and was awarded the Still Waters Press Winter Poetry Award 2000 for his chapbook Getting Through The Fog.