Radames Ortiz The 2River View, 5.1 (Fall 2000)

The New World

          Who can say my life
here is poor?

when men are rich
enough to rattle
rib cages, to cloak
tierra in feather feet
and brown skin;

or when ears overflow
with victory chants
and bright orange
affection

          Who can say the city is
all gunpowder and death?

when babies reach
for a sun perched
in a violet sky
and ice-cream trucks
serenade parking lots;
drawing smiles
on wet faces

or when Salvadorians play soccer
chasing each other with
stone calves and
pin-stripped shirts;
their voices bouncing
off company walls

          Donít tell me, our streets
are without music

when garbage trucks
roar through alleyways
like metal lions and
all night freight trains
pierce the neighborhood
in half

or when I dream daylight
through my glasses
and hum eternally
for a city waiting
to be burned
in the memories
of its children

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2River All is well.