Last Breath

Acapulco
Mexico

there we were
Darren and I

off on that
great adventure

the sand the surf
women hopes

lime juice
hot sauce

Ch. 1

flying in straight from
New York City

to Acapulco
to the city with its
throngs of tourists

alternating
with desertion
for the most part

we knew
what we were doing
or so
we
though

Ch. 2

staying in that hostel
that hotel watching
movies
and eating tacos
and going swimming

dancing at night
at Club Paradise
with 16 year olds
with as little english
as we had spanish

but with as
much interest
in the opposite
sex
as we did

Ch. 3

we walked through
the streets
towels around our wastes
our knapsacks
and smiling
sun-baked faces

water bottles
bananas
cervezas

taking combi taxis
to the local beaches

away from the tall
hotels where
the tourists
reside
getting drunk
and trying to find
the same thing
only with better weather

Ch. 4

yes we went together
to this land of opportunity
to explore the sand
surf and sea

to experience what it means
to really live

to get away from the cold
Chicago winters
from the endless papers
and grades and degrees
and pressures

here we would have
a chance
to have
time

well spent

here we would find
ourselves

a little bit more

Ch. 5

and we get to that
beach
that beach I’ve been to before
the one you have to take
the taxi to
the one that’s a bit out
of the ways if you don’t
know
how it can get to you

where the girls selling
sunglasses smile
knowing we have
American dollars
in our pockets

and I smile back
knowing they have
the best fish tacos
in all the canopy tents

and that the water
is the best
for riding in waves

especially on those
days when the sewage
waste isn’t
floating downstream
from the nearby
beach community

where you never
have to worry about
having your frisbee
stolen
because they don’t
know the meaning
of throwing
such a thing

soccer balls
and moms and dads
and kids
walking around
enjoying the weekend
vacation
away from their
lives otherwise
spent

in the interiors

yes here on this beach
on the outskirts
of Acapulco

that’s where Darren
and I found
ourselves

that day

Ch. 6

that day we rode
those waves and basked
in the sun and ate fish tacos
and enjoyed life
and fun

Ch. 7

that day when we debated
and discussed whatever
the mind desired

sipping pina coladas
whatever

it doesn’t matter with
fresh sand between
your toes

Ch. 8

that day when we could
look out into the sunset
on the water
glistening

and think

who knows

Ch. 9

that day when
suddenly we see
a boy lying on the
beach

and everyone’s
gathering around
him quickly

and they’re yelling
and it seems
somethings the commotion

and Darren and I look
at each other
and we realize
something
needs to be done

if he is
to stay

alive

Ch. 10

yes this kid swimming
in the same ocean
as ourselves
but he clearly
unable to handle the
waves
the same way
them having their way with him
his mouth filled
with water
his lungs inundated
with Ocean

Ch. 11

and I hear the ambulance the police
the shouting the screams
clearly people are coming
the authorities
to help
to save him

there on the beach

Ch. 12

and Darren’s
pacing back and forth
in his mind
muttering should I do
something
should I do something

for he had gone
to medical school
and supposedly knew
such things

CPR whatever
that means

Ch. 13

and I tell him
if you think you can
do it properly
then yes

if not then don’t
the police will be
here
the ambulance

and he sits
there in silence
tense

as the people
scream
out loud

Ch. 14

and Darren
still sitting there unsure
of himself

inner turmoil

while the beach
becomes a madhouse
scene

Ch. 15

and then it’s over
the kid
is dead

his brother crying
kneeling by his
side

and Darren’s
looking
at the ground

and shaking his
head

and we take
the taxi
back

to
Acapulco

where we will get
into
our beds