BY: DARLENE CAMPOS
We love Houston the way a mother loves her child,
more than the mother who stuffed
her dead daughter in the fridge to keep
collecting the girl’s social security check.
In Hermann Park, Sam Houston’s statue stands high
above everyone else. He faces children playing Frisbee
and sick people lingering to the Texas Medical Center.
At Buffalo Bayou, a man lies by the water
with a sack for a blanket while Joel Osteen
We love Houston the way a car loves to speed,
more than the man who raced past a house
with his gun, splitting the
skulls of two kid brothers.
Jensen Drive is where sleazy men go
for a good time. If caught, they go
downtown to the jail on Bagby Street
where they can see the Aquarium from their cells.
The sharks wiggle around in their too small tank
as a child points up at their jaws. His mother pulls
him close, closer than Andrea Yates who drowned
her five kids in a bathtub.
Yet we love Houston the way mosquitoes
love sucking on our skin, the way the big oil
tycoons love their mansions in River Oaks.
Southwest is the place where it can be scary
to sleep at night and even drive through during
the day, but if you keep going, you will
end up in the Museum District where
Mr. Sam Houston will greet you again.
We love Houston the way a con artist
loves counting money.
We love Houston the way a wife loves her husband
that she’s been married to for over twenty years.
She looks at him with squinted eyes, remembering
a time when he was younger, thinner, and stronger.
She loves him just the same today as she will tomorrow.
She loves him the way a Houstonian loves Houston.