my week in ABQ
by t. zoEy benally

one of my friends hears "Abiquiu" everytime i say "A-B-Q"
his questions baffled me, until i realized
so i threw in a quick "Albuquerque," just to clear up the confusion

late Wednesday morning the sun was eye squinty in Shiprock
i galloped my silver pony east, cutting across the NAPI edge
we continued at a gallop southeast to Cuba

i hopped off and we walked through Cuba, admiring pine and elm trees
i should have taken a picture of the signs, the 2 dollar part at least
sadly it would be the last time we would see 2.93 gas in Cuba

we resumed our original pace after the hill and curve
we passed lumbering semi beasts and pokey domestic donkeys
a Texas longhorn latched onto us and followed us through Bernalillo

i checked into the hotel, and left the pony content to gnosh greens
the training was in full swing, i made it in time for my first section
my colleagues and i finished off the day and made plans for the evening

sushi was first on the list--beloved Sushi King--adored by 3 year olds
the world over! then a trek around downtown, slightly skewed
made much more entertaining by green filters

the next day was similar to the first, training, then food adventures
Vietnam 2000 was Thusday's adventure, then a visit with an old
friend from 1st grade, a friend that remembers much more than i!

Friday was the end of the training, and no matter how many trainings i do
i always feel sad, always wish i could continue work with new potential
we quietly packed remnants into boxes and carried them out to the van

i cruise north Rio Grande, quest to find MPH program director's house
i don't remember it being so far out! i don't remember that curve!
i try not to second guess myself and keep the pony moving forward

we find the graduation afterparty and narrowly evade leftovers!
i'm not a very good Navajo--bad at feeding guests, despiser of leftovers...
i feel my positive feedback insomnia loop kicking in--....must ...sleep

i crawl between hotel sheets, dream for an hour of non-threatening
colors, shapes, and smells, listen to Law and Order in my sleep
no world problems solved in that quick selfish bit of sleep

groggily i steer pony back down Indian School, picking our way
carefully through side streets, taking care not to careen into arroyos
i leave pony in a quiet area, a good distance from the Blue Dragon

the poets are wonderful, but it takes too long for the two vats
of iced coffee to kick in and i must go dancing and sweat the caffeine
out of my veins, so that i can sleep and dream of threatening things

in the morning, i pack pony, and slowly meander out of ABQ
we meet a friend at the Range in Bernalillo to eat breakfast
then begin the long journey back to SR

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