What Fredi Said After I Hadn’t Seen Him In A Year

Martina Reisz Newberry passionately loves and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Brian Newberry, a Media Creative. Her work has been anthologized and widely published in the U.S. and abroad.  Newberry’s newest book is Never Completely Awake (available now from Deerbrook Editions). A new book of poems, Take The Long Way Home is due out in Fall 2017 from Unsolicited Press.

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What Fredi Said After I Hadn’t Seen Him In A Year

He said we should hang out sometime.
We should go to that dinky bar on
Western near Crenshaw and watch the
scarred people dance and the girls with
blonde manes toss their hair back along
with tequila shots.  We should hang,

he said.  We could go to that posh
place in West Hollywood where the
bare-chested waiters lean across
tables to serve the ladies with
scars on their wrists. It’ll be fun,
he said, if you come with. We should

really hang out, he said. We can
go out to Santa Monica.
I’ll drive. We’ll go out to that hip,
throwback coffee shop that offers
classic diner fare with yummy
vegetarian options. ( I

got that description off of YELP
he giggled). We’ll eat deep-fried kale
and make cool, wry, observations
about the men whose ink covers
their whole faces. I think they play
opera music there…maybe not,

but we should go. The air down there
is lip-smacking good.  I know what,
he said, let’s hang out sometime and
we’ll go shopping at the Goodwill
store out there in East LA and
watch the barefooted guy with braids

dance the aisles. They keep telling him
to get out, but he just comes back
later. I’ll take you for lunch at
that Mexican restaurant on
Vermont and we’ll scarf tacos all
afternoon. I’ll pretend the blade

mark at your throat isn’t still red
though it seems all healed up to me
better yet, I’ll buy you a scarf
at the Goodwill store and you can
hide that which you think defines you.
You can wear your Sex Pistols High

tops. His husband jerked his elbow.
He said they should be on their way.
“It’s obvious she doesn’t want
to go,” his husband said and they
walked down the street. I cleared my throat,
croaked …but I do. I want to go.

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