Maria Goes to Mcarthur Park Vol.4, 2018
Dry palm leaf from Mcarthur Park, black sombrero, purple twine. 




On almost all evenings, there is a ritual of mostly men dealing cards gathered in a flat circle made of concrete. On the side, there’s a mujer muy chingona addicted to the gamble too. She wants to be let in, she waves dollars bills. But no one lets her play until some men start loosing and dropping out. Right outside of the circle there’s an Ace of cards from the night before.   The ace
of cards points to the soccer game being played by young men too young to have beards. Others boys are skinnier, fast and mobile. Genes wont give them a beard but time will. There is one young muscular man that plays the game, his back is so wide he looks like a bull, his voice is loud and commanding, and he also yells at teammates when a mistake is made. They all wish he wasn’t there, but they allow him to play because of fear, but he’s also a good player. There are some men that watch the game, some have girlfriends, some sit among friends. They throw food at squirrels but seagulls are quicker than squirrels. Next to that game is group of even younger boys, but this game has girls. They have a coach. These kids are mostly all Salvadorian. Their mothers usually bring their younger brother or sister, she calls him over. He has blue shorts and yellow shirt like all of his teammates.  He speaks perfect English to a mom trying to tie a shoe with a leg too impatient to be held down by simple logistic.  She responds to the leg that doesn’t want to be caught “esperese que le estoy abrochando las cintas muchacho.” He’s off to running to what he thinks is the important game of his life, and it is. Other kids not playing soccer are asking their mothers to buy them ice cream “Ma me compras una paleta?” she responds and says “ya le dije que no le iba a comprar nada!”

As the day keeps going, and the sound of the constant helicopters hovering over them becomes unbearable, moms gather their kids to leave. Those that don’t have a home to go lag behind with hands firm on their hips, with one ear pressed on the grass, hearing what grass things say.




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Mark