I haven’t talked to Natalia in 3 days.
We had another fight.
I’ve been sleeping in the room out back
and drinking like a hole in the ground.
It’s 2 p.m. and I hear a knock on the door
right in the middle of a dream where all my hair was falling out
and spiders were crawling out of my veins.
The guy’s here to fix the water pump.
We’ve been waiting for a week for him to show up.
they never call first.
I spend too much time reading Emerson’s “Self Reliance”
to learn to fix anything.
I get dressed and go outside.
It’s sunny and a bit warmer.
Natalia and I stand and watch him dismantle the water pump,
40-ish Mexican man with his son learning the trade
handing him tools.
He smiles and says,
You need a new tank and a new hose,
I’ll go get the materials,
and you’ll be back to normal in no time.
Gracias, I say.
We watch them drive off in his old truck.
Probably the same truck his father used.
I put my arm around Natalia
but she twists away and goes inside.
I stand there next to the pieces of the water pump
laid out on the cracked concrete,
wondering how much it’s all going to cost.
Bio: Mather Schneider was born in 1970 in Peoria, Illinois. He attended several colleges but never attained a degree. After living in Washington State for eight years, he moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1997 where he married a Mexican woman and began travelling to Mexico. He has worked many jobs and now drives a taxi. He has had several hundred poems and stories published since 1994 in places such as River Styx, Rattle, Nimrod, Hanging Loose, Rosebud, Pank and New York Quarterly.
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