Buscando un árbol que me de sombra

By SAMUEL MIRANDA


In conversation with A Hill in the South Bronx, by Perla de Leon

Estoy buscando un árbol que me de sombra
Porque el que tengo me lo van a cortar
                                  Coro de bomba

This building stands,
the last tree to be cut down
in a garden of brick and steel
made desert of rubble and dust.

It still shelters families
whose poverty
bites into them like the rats
that chew holes into their cereal boxes
and gnaw at their toes.

It spits out children to play
on mattresses evicted by flame and smoke,
then swallows them back in
after streetlights remind mothers
to call for their return.

It provides shade
for the mangy dogs who scavenge
through the leftovers of the leftovers
and then wait below the window
of the woman who leans out
and, like a merenguero playing guiro,
scrapes her plates clean,
letting each drop of food fall within reach.

 

 

Samuel Miranda is a poet, teacher, and visual artist. He is originally from the Bronx, but has made his home in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Departure, a chapbook published by Central Square Press. His poetry has been published in print and online journals and anthologies and has been translated into Spanish.

[Purchase Issue 16 here]

Buscando un árbol que me de sombra

Related Posts

Silvia Guerra

Translation: Moss on a Smooth Rock

SILVIA GUERRA
Nocturnally tied / The aquatic whistling pine / and the goldfinch in the garden / Over the dark torment / of being one Of being two / of loving // The waters / the swans. / The lagoon // The thin horizon / and shivering straw / At the sides of / the line...

Image of a goat on a cliff.

Trap Street

KAREN SKOLFIELD 
Twitch of the cartographer’s hand and a street / is born, macadam free, a tree-lined absence, / paved with nothing but a name. No sidewalks, / no chalk, no children’s voices, / a fence unlinked from its chains, / the cars unmoored, corn left to its rubble...

Image of a dark meadow with naked trees.

Recollections

ALEKSANDAR HEMON 
My father once asked me: How is it I can recollect / with utmost clarity what happened forty years ago, / but not what I did this morning at all? I didn’t know, / but I recognized I would always recall that moment. / It was late summer. We were driving to the country / to see my grandfather...