Issue 9: Vacation

Alejandro Escudé
Inside the posh Palm Springs restaurant a portrait of a Lord greets you, and you sit at a two-person table adjoining a wall that is actually too large and the seat too low, so that you feel really really small and too close to the old lady sitting at the giant round table of old folks and you try to be very gentle as you describe this but you’re so tired because of the long drive, the check-in to the hotel that looked stylish online but is really just an outpost in the desert, outside of what the locals consider acceptable, and you can’t believe you drove out from the city for that hotel, for this restaurant and your wife is mad at you for having dragged her there and so you say you’re sick and leave
and the valet guy is eyeing you now for the restless madman you are and you can’t wait to get back to the hotel in Desert Hot Springs which is considered the other side of the tracks by the locals out here but you thought you were just getting a good deal and even the hotel front desk attendant hates DHS, what they call it, and yet is content to live in her little desert enclave because when you mentioned the famous restaurant, which you now know is disproportionally full of very old people the attendant had never heard of the restaurant despite the fact it’s featured on the front page of the hardcover Dining Palm Springs magazine in your room and now you’re back in that same hotel room and your wife
and you are having one of those end-of-marriage fights that could go either way the type of fight that either ends it or makes it better, you say she needs to communicate more and she says you need to stop overreacting and it won’t be until you finally drive back home to the city plus one more agonizing day afterwards that you learn it was one of those make-it-better fights and you breathe a sigh of relief and you write this poem and you’re happy you have the poem- writing thing to rely on and your wife to be with and your Los Angeles large and stupid and terrifying as it is.
Alejandro Escudé’s first book of poems, My Earthbound Eye, was published in September 2013. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from UC Davis and teaches English. Originally from Argentina, Alejandro lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. Find more at