The sky is a black eye. I try to sleep,
but I was thinking about death and now
have heartburn. Today, a man at a cheap
gas station approached me and said, Hey, how
ya doin? Half his face purple, swollen,
deformed. We talked. I left aware of my
vanity. Tonight, I guess, I’m thinking
of stupid luck, my pretty good life I
could lose. I ask Eli if he believes
in heaven. Maybe he says yes, but it’s
2 a.m. I hope so, I say. He buries
his head in the pillow. I press my chest
onto his back and feel my heartbeat then,
solid, bull’s head ramming against its pen.

Isabel Acevedo is a nominee for The Pushcart Prize and two-time winner of the Academy of American Poets University Prize. Her poems appear in such magazines as Birdfeast, Puerto Del Sol, Aster(ix), Berkeley Poetry Review, and others.