We Used To Call it Puerto Rico 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.

[Purchase Issue 16 here.]

We Used To Call it Puerto Rico Rain

Related Posts

Image of almonds pouring from a glass bowl.

Reina María Rodríguez: Poems in Translation

REINA MARÍA RODRÍGUEZ
Naturally, Flaubert’s parrot / could not be called Chucho, / his author wouldn’t stick him / with a name like that. / From which follows the importance of names. / But in the stories last night / —the reconstruction of a postcard / which we were creating...

Image of hill, river, and houses.

Joss

PATRICIA LIU
Paper is thin. In the beginning, still billows in the wind, still petal-like, still grounded in this world / of living. The incense is the only material that translates the viscera to mist. Early, the fog has not yet / lifted, and we move through the white drip as if through total darkness. Fish lost in the deep under- / water.

poetry feature image

March 2021 Poetry Feature: Sylvie Durbec

SYLVIE DURBEC
I still don’t know how to type a tilde on a computer keyboard / when writing the name of a Spanish or Portuguese writer I love. / Nor do I know what poetry is. / I don’t know whether we need it. Or not. / And what we really need here. / Elsewhere, water, bread, milk.