ME AND COYOTE
Coyote and I are going down to the Burrito Shack
to sit on the curb for a while. I like to sit on the curb
in front of my house but Coyote has been restless
the past couple days and says he needs a change of
scenery. He’s thumbing through the letters and bills
he took from the mailbox in front of that little blue house
on the corner. He’ll give it back, he says, he just wants
to see what’s going on in the neighborhood these days.
I’d tell him it’s illegal but Coyote’s got a temper
and I can tell he’s agitated. The first bill is from
the electric company. Coyote bellows, one hundred
and one dollars? God damn! Turn off the lights!
He says where he comes from they use mosquito candles
to see at night, or at least spend more time sleeping.
I’m trying to picture where Coyote came from
since I’m too afraid to ask and I assume it’s somewhere
out in the bush. He once told me he ate a rabbit.
The next envelope is a letter from someone named Elizabeth.
Coyote reads the first paragraph, tears the paper
down the middle and stuffs it back into the envelope.
What’d you do that for? I ask without thinking.
Nobody named Elizabeth has anything good to say, he says.
The Burrito Shack is just one block away
and we’re walking under the empty peach trees on 10th.
We’re going so slow I can count the number of peach pits
on every square of sidewalk. I stop at twenty
and start over because I don’t like to count higher than that.
Coyote opens the last envelope. It’s an invitation to stay
at the Hilton for one night fifty percent off.
This he hands over to me and smiles so I can see all his teeth
for about a half a half a second. I’ll let this be
our little secret, he says. Go on, put it in your pocket.
I put it under my hat and start to wonder if I want to be
friends with a guy who walks beside me every day
and doesn’t even notice I’m afraid of pockets.