Darlene Campos Releases New Poem "Welcome To Houston"

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

preaches prosperity.

 

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.