Archive for the 'James Albon + Sabrina Uswak' Category


Got dust in ev’ry crease of every wrinkle on my damn face but I still lost him comin into Phoenix. It’s been a long ride. But he aint gettin away, no good sonofabitch. I’d ride through this place even just to see the sunset all red and fire, stars wheelin over the blue mountains. It’s cold at night this time o’ the year, the earth packed and hard—every hoof-fall a muffled punch. Can still see that damn face even in this night, always, pointed teeth and that scar, a Comanche knife over his eye. Been told he passed into Pinal County by some vagrant mutterin about them boots and is stayin near a bar along the highway. It’s all shuttered and gold light and smoke comin out them windows. Can smell the piss and drink from here.

I’ll indulge, swingin the doors open, the horse tied, eyes rolling white and pink and black, nostrils flarin, its buckskin side heavin after all that heat.

Soon’s I git in I can see boots with spurs all mud encrusted, cowhide worn and I see a familiar pattern like upward flames in black and grey, that hat pulled low. No one looks up. These aint no vanity cowboys. The barmaid is spillin out of her dress and her eyes are bullet grey. Aint seen red hair like that and so I’m wantin the cheapest thing to burn the throat. Drinkin, drinkin but I can tell he’s just sittin there, been chasin him near a month and he’s just sittin, am I imaginin a glint of teeth in this murk?

I don’t remove my jacket but I feel sweat tricklin down my back and it’s gone quiet, more’n usual when my blood’s all liquored and I taste that sting on my lips, ah, a scrape of a chair and I knew he’d go on and hide behind men like these. I’m thinkin of that mess he’d left, a good woman old and without, house all dusty and fallin in, known that house all my life and he should too, takin her savings like that aint no grace for a man like that so I’m ready, swivellin, my head too and he’s risen to stand. The barmaid’s smoking a pipe. It’s a tar stench. I feel a plume move ‘cross my cheek from behind and I stand too, a little wobbly, gettin too old for this shit but I see that grin and I launch at him over the wood tables and chairs which part like I’m Moses. The boards creak and all the men sit starin, some smoking now some back to starin in their dirty drinks but I feel fistfuls of shirt in my hands and we tumble all boots and elbows and knees losin our hats but I got a good fist to that face feelin skin split and knuckles bruise and we’re hittin and rollin; now other boots are kickin and for sure this floor aint been swept since the damn Spaniards took Louisiana, my face pressed into its sticky dirt and horse-shit encrusted surface, never can get away from the stuff in this damn country, tastin it, feeling fists poundin into my ribs and the barmaid’s hollerin to get us out which explains the extra boot heels and I feel the doors hittin behind us and I can breathe better now that night desert air is all crisp and dry in the lungs. The sky is blue-grey with so many stars and the moon the curve of a blade. I’m runnin out of breath but so’s he and we’re tangled on the steps, my horse lookin at us uninterested, puffs of cloud dissolvin around his muzzle and I think goddamn good-for-nothing brothers.



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