how to not have any children and feel no regrets
by Richard Vargas

occupy the space of a one-bedroom apt. watch the dust, day after day, settle
and accumulate on books, a record collection, and the smart tv. stand before
the picture window in the living room. the deep layer of snow on the ground
outside blinding and hurtful to the naked eye as it reflects the rays of the harsh
winter sun. then stare out the way an astronaut on the space station gazes
with wonder on the planet while floating high above surrounded in cold black quiet.

smell the sour hate and chaos outside, a scent so vile and thick it can’t be cut
with a knife. watch an endangered species slit its wrists.

the dull ache of being alone begins to fade. now turn around, welcome solitude’s embrace,
and face another day.

IMAGE: Astronaut by Pizar Almaulidina.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Richard Vargas earned his B.A. at Cal State University, Long Beach, where he studied under Gerald Locklin and Richard Lee. He edited/published five issues of The Tequila Review, 1978-1980, and twelve issues of The Mas Tequila Review from 2010-2015. Vargas received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Mexico, 2010. He was recipient of the 2011 Taos Summer Writers’ Conference Hispanic Writer Award. He was on the faculties of the 2012 10th National Latino Writers Conference and the 2015 Taos Summer Writers’ Conference. Published collections: McLife, 2005; American Jesus, 2009; Guernica, revisited, 2014. He currently resides in Wisconsin, near the lake where Otis Redding’s plane crashed. He welcomes your comments at