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If ever you find yourself on the J train

By April 25, 2020October 12th, 2022Poems

Get off at Cleveland Street.

You will discover a neighborhood of noise

and the music will make your hips laugh

the concrete is a pasture of broken nerves

more importantly, head towards the house whose shrouded shoulders

shiver under the ragged shawl of an amusing sky

this is 61 Ashford Street

an old woman called my grandmother

spends most summers on the front porch

if you visit when I am a little girl,

you will see me sitting next to her

in a beach chair

agitated by the humid of spirits and smoke.

She blows ghosts from her lips 

fashioning cigarettes between her fingers like magic wands.

Her arms ripple like the branches of willow trees 

and her hands are ancient

I have watched them break the necks of chickens 

how the blood drips from her wrists like syrup

savoring the stick and moist before falling.

She is a conjured woman 

and Cuba

is stubborn for her tongue

when she came here,

to this house of magic

and galaxies 

I wonder if she ever longed for her country

If a Santera 

ever misses her God.