Rigorous
Volume Five, Issue 2



Ramon Jimenez


The Bottoms

Wedged between Morningside High School
and a shopping mall off Century
sits the Bottoms.
Here,
voices muffle
and streets rattle
every time a monster of the sky takes off.

Across the street from auto shop,
we see someone’s Tia
walking back from the groceries
or the next customer
looking for his rations to burn.

So many classmates dread living
in that urban maze of two-story complexes
that swallow up many
at all hours of the day.

I still remember the fallen man
clapped on sight in broad day light.
Just like I remember
how sweaty I was passing by
to drop off my sister’s friend.
As if every alley and corner had eyes of its own.

I even remember the buildings
of aqua, pistachio and orange.
Bright colors giving hope in the day
as if brightness could ward off the cracks and fragments.




On The Corner of Avalon and 108

In the parking lot
of La Superior Supermercado,
you can find a taco stand
with the most confident taquero in all LA.
Proudly from Michoacán.
He only sells one kind,
de barbacoa.

Every part of the cow available.
Tongue, cheek, head.
And some regular cuts of chuck and brisket
for the less adventurous.

All simmered together until tender,
the heat preserved with a giant plastic bag
and secured with wooden clothespins.
Nothing gets out.

He dedicates himself to one meal only
and he is confident in his product.
If you order two,
he gives you four,
if you order four,
he gives you eight.
I tried to order two,
but ended up paying for 10.



Ramon Jimenez: “I am a writer and educator who resides in Seattle, WA. Originally from Inglewood, California, I now teach language arts and run a summer youth poetry program. I write poetry that focuses on immigration, culture and travel. I am interested in exploring locations and how they connect to memories.”




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