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What Being Pretty Is All About

(A letter to my brother)

Jesus Rodriguez

Driving up to see you that day, I passed a girl
on the road. She was walking and wore a white
dress. She looked like she belonged in a painting
or one of those prints. On the seat next to me
there were some cookies that Vickie had made.

When I was driving I looked for that place we used
to go shooting at, but it had moved. Here, listen
to this, the movement poetic: your bird began to wail
the day you came so I let it go. He flew in circles
and I followed him until I couldn’t see him anymore.

Bobby said he saw him fly by the house, but I don’t
know. He told me to tell you that he was going
to come up soon. I won’t be coming to see you
for a while. From outside, this white wall promises
all the things we wanted to see when we were kids.

But there is only cold steel wire and something less.
When I left, she wasn’t on the road anymore.
If she had been I’d have given her a ride. She would
ask me was I coming from here, and I would say no
and tell her that she was really pretty.