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]

Debbie WenBuscando un árbol que me de sombra

Related Posts

feature

Poetry and Democracy: Part Three

ERICA DAWSON
Seven years I have / mothered this nature into a woman. / The moon, her crevices, a tree / the sharpness of her tough skin split, / the river’s green—refluxing bile. / Eve said, I didn’t need a man to be / my mother. Didn’t need his rib/God’s hand, / to be made.

feature

Poetry and Democracy: Part Two

MEGAN FERNANDES
White people don’t like when
you say:
white people.
White people
like to remind you
that you are Indian, not black.
Black people
never say that to you.

skyline

Three Torabully Translations

KHAL TORABULLY
Only a gashed murmur of gangue / remains at this crossroads of salts. / I notice the sharp-edged tattoo / of a forked harpoon when my memory festers. / In the black of dawn, pure métisse, / my uprooted flesh will no longer give respite to exiles. / And my life’s only protector is Death.