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

Image of book cover

Kazakhstani Poet Aigerim Tazhi in Translation

Aigerim Tazhi
A shaggy cactus in the window / catches on the drape. A stinging / spine in the hand. Along the wall. / Don't step into a moonbeam, / Don't tread on a house-elf / Or any other living thing. / In the newborn darkness / Pushing away dreams and shadows, / Sit on a sofa, keep still...

Graffitied diamond

A List of His Flaws

PETER MISHLER
Single-headed. / Flowering inwardly. / Barely felt in the birth canal... / Cupped like a handful of sea uncertainly held. / Carried fire to the human encampment. / Herod in boyhood. / An herbicide. / Given name known to the weapons inspectors. / Anchorite.

Cover of John Freeman's "The Park," a black and white photo of park benches and trees

April 2020 Poetry Feature: Poems from John Freeman’s THE PARK

JOHN FREEMAN
Every Sunday belfry bats of dread / flapped in the day’s corners— / I raised my head at 25, at 30, then 35, / as the sun arced down, always / wretched by the coming dark. / I assumed it was the awakening / singular to humans: / one day, that day would be the last.