Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Summer Madness

Sunlight pries open my
eyelids like
a newborn’s head
squeezing through
recently-lost virginity.
Heat burns my
to a slow drip
like the sweat
under my armpits

Summer in the city…

Hydrant relief
until the house burns down.
Cocoanut piraguas
dripping sweetness
down skinny
dark-skinned arms.
Box-fans offer
token resistance
in 15 story tenements
clustered together,
like the beef patties
Mr. Hershel sells
at the corner bodega.

“Stay out the sun,
it’ll make you black!”

told to countless children
of all shades
in all languages
by those who know…

Coolness only
comes with the
darkness has it’s price.
Many who sought
the coolness
in a late-night stroll
have disappeared
into the abyss
of blackness.
Only to be uncovered
by the
redundancy of
summer madness.

Tempers short
as the fuse
that connects
palm to cheek
fist to belly
foot to ass.
Explosions of
that kill
quicker than
drying on pavement.
Drop-top Chevy’s
cruise avenues
of malevolence.
The price of life
is lowered
as the temperature
is raised.

Summer in the city…

A migration
of brown
moves toward
the shore
seeking oceanic
from coffin-like
housing projects
where death walks
close to the buildings.

Backyard bar-b-que
brings together
cousins grown fat
by winter’s
Future generations
in wombs
made thick
by the midnight
of some other
long-ago season.
Uncles and aunts
drink too much
and bring up
that have masked
deeper issues
of past Decembers.

Summer in the city…

The Family

Once upon a time
Our branches spread in all directions
Our roots grew deep
Fruit was lush, ripe
And plentiful

But now…

The soil has been tainted
With the blood of the

The limbs are barren
and only poison fruit falls


from the tree