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

A Visit on September

A veces, I visit
the old neighborhood
and inhale the wet
smell of black earth
In refuge, across a recycle
bin, viejitos fill whisky
bottles with empty dreams
For hours, I stand there
in silence, listening to a wind
that hisses through my barrio
cracking the adobe skin of
ceramic women who sit
on red brick porches, their
mouths full of salty
sunflower seeds
          I donít live here anymore
among glittering roof boards
and men who wear straw hats
to rev their í56 Chevys
beneath the shade of an elm tree
Funny, how in el barrio
things are soft and worn
The air blistered with particles
of cardboard dust and nursery
rhymes sung by children in
elementary school playgrounds
Over the years, I have
managed to accept the cement
growths of this world, to bury
it deep, deep into a body
brewing with black teeth
and marked bones
Only to come back and
disclose a truth I moved
away to hide from

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2River All is well.