We Used to Call it Puerto Rican Rain

By WILLIE PERDOMO

The rain had just finished saying, This block is mine.

The kind of rain where you could sleep through two breakthroughs and still have enough left to belly sing in the ambrosial hour.

Blood pellets in the dusk & dashes of hail were perfect for finding new stashes; that is to say, visitations were never announced.

A broken umbrella handle posed a question by the day care center.

A good time to crush a love on a stoop, to narrate through a window, to find the heartbeat of Solitude, and collect gallons for The Bruja’s next baño.

Good weather to be in the dialectic of O Wow Ooo Baby O Shit Ooo Damn

The perfect weather to master the art of standing under a bodega awning, shifting crisis to profit.

There’s always a nigga who thinks they can race the rain to the building, who loves the smell of wet concrete, and uses a good downpour to be discrete.

There’s always one toddler who quietly crawls off the top step, dodges a thunder bolt, and quickly becomes fluent in all things stormy weather.

Story goes that Don Julio was swept up, ripped around the corner, stumbled & cart-wheeled to the light post, but he never let go of his porkpie hat.

An improvised ballet near an improvised rivulet.

Shopping bags, pulverized by branches, contort into a new nation of black flags. Our Block was our island.

The manhole on the corner perked with popsicle sticks, empty beer cans, and the brown sole of a fake karate slipper as we started to sink & boil.

The forecast, you said, was type perfect.

 

Willie Perdomo is the author of The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He teaches at Phillips Exeter Academy.

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Avery FarmerWe Used to Call it Puerto Rican Rain

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