writing with q’s

a quiet space where we play with a curious set of words

heads drawn to our notebooks as pens move across pages marking in silence

only the drone of the air conditioner weighs heavily


a loose queue of four or five patrons extends from the counter

yellow and red signs list taco choices

we wait and wonder when we will be next

and the words spoken were Quechua

sounds unfamiliar to our ears

shiny black hair swept back from warm brown faces

Quechua words breathed from full lips

sounds as full as the day’s length

now the Quechua woman leans against the quoin

the quoin placed hundreds of years ago

by the hands of Quechua workers

a queue of days separates

the woman here today from the men

who carried and placed it here 500 years ago


the quiet of this room

distracted by the squeak of shoes and the rattle of keys


wonder when we will be next


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