October 2008 / Volume 8 / Issue Three
Puma Perl

smiles burst open
like clouds over
rain forests
painted children
ride ponies
on  avenue c

loisaida festival
steamed tar fills streets
park rhythms call

conga beats forever
on east side benches
young hands and old
pound skin
rhythms grow harder
keeping time
calloused, proud

across from me
a man drinks wine
his hair is long, tangled
we move as one
on the downbeat
i remember his
smooth young looks
he turns my way
sees only a woman
my longing hidden
by years of loss

back then
we lived everywhere
nobody called it homeless
we were always home
staying with friends
on floors or rooftops
everywhere was home

in loisaida today
at the festival
everyone eats
drinks dances in
the shadow of the projects
everyone is home

i eat a mango
for dinner
sleep under a fan
i dream of rhythms
hard as the hands
of the old congero
soft   soft   soft
as the
project air