The Marine

Runners start their race during the eleventh Los Angeles Marathon in 1996. Courtesy of Michael Caulfield/Associated Press.

Sundays my father made us chorizo
we still begged to skip church
four bad kids in line for communion,
recanting silence
seeing the backs of our neighbors, the lint on their shoulders
we walked down the pews like seasons and years

One spring morning
instead of mass
my father ran the city’s 10k
we’ve lost his boxes of medals
the paper from 1982 of his smile, those perfect big teeth
you could see his sweat
this beautiful mexican racing against the sheriff department
and the mayor’s court of farmers, miners, the son of a senator
they all lost to a magnificent bastard.

Rogelio Juarez is a writer, stay-at-home father, and alumni of VONA/Voices of Our Nation and Tin House Winter Workshops. His work has been featured in The James Franco Review and is forthcoming in J Journal.
Explore Related Content