Sitting in a Chinese Restaurant in Tijuana

Sitting in a Chinese Restaurant in Tijuana

Rain makes the dust rise up in spikes

as shadows come down from the cementerio

with X’s on their eyes. Someone’s shuffling

the brothels like they’re domino tiles,

and the cries go up in the Jailai stadium

like waves of laughter, execution or sighs.

I’m with you, though you’re shadeless

and can’t decide on ocean or desert,

highway arrow pointing both directions,

road coiled like a snake about to strike.


Douglas Cole


Douglas Cole has published six collections of poetry and The White Field, winner of the American Fiction Award. His work has appeared in several anthologies as well as journals such as The Chicago Quarterly Review, Poetry International, The Galway Review, Bitter Oleander, Chiron, Louisiana Literature, Slipstream, as well Spanish translations of work (translated by Maria Del Castillo Sucerquia) in La Cabra Montes. He is a regular contributor to Mythaixs, an online journal, where in addition to his fiction and essays, his interviews with notable writers, artists and musicians such as Daniel Wallace (Big Fish), Darcy Steinke (Suicide Blond, Flash Count Diary) and Tim Reynolds (T3 and The Dave Matthews Band) have been popular contributions He has been nominated twice for a Pushcart and Best of the Net, received the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry and recently won the Editors’ Choice Award in Prose from RiverSedge literary journal. He lives and teaches in Seattle, Washington. His website is


  1. This poem is like a photograph in words. I love the way it evokes the different scenarios.

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