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Tuesday, January 29, 2013


by Ana Garza G'z

Someone threw a gallon of urine in the lobby of the Fresno Housing Authority office on the Fulton Mall on Thursday morning, the Fresno Fire Department said. The office, in the 1300 block of the mall, was evacuated briefly while the Fire Department investigated the incident, which happened about 10 a.m. A man described by a witness as "homeless" tossed the container, which then broke, spilling the fluid, a Fire Department spokesman said. There were no injuries and workers returned to the building. The suspect is at large. --Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013

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No pride--just  a glass door, a desk,
a story, an application.
Weeks later, you’re denied
By a scowl when you check in.

You wonder what it takes
to fill a gallon with piss?
Well, first, you need a gallon.
You think you can get milk,

but for that, you need four dollars.
You also need a fridge.
to keep it in, a house,
gas and power service,

and a forty-hour job
that pays at least minimum
so you can try for Food Stamps
and low-income housing.

You have to wait on both,
despite the questions (“where do you live?”)
despite the weather (January),
despite the work you did

in that other life.
God forbid,
the people  who spend four dollars
on a cup of coffee spend

a little extra here
and there. They’ll never miss
a cent. You panhandle for
a morning to buy the milk.

You drink it in a day.
You get the massive shits.
You don’t care. You aim,
and you gather every drip,

every single drip. You take
your time. With dehydration,
it takes five days. You sit
at public computers, filling in

boxes. And then you walk
back to the glass doors and the desk
with nothing for the jobless,
but advice: those who seek find success.

You stand there, under a roof
you can’t have, and you give in
to the impulse to show them
your work, a gallon, which you spill.

Ana Garza G'z has an M. F. A. from California State University, Fresno. Forty-one of her poems have appeared in various journals and anthologies, most recently in The Mom Egg. She works as a community interpreter and translator.