Samuel Miranda

TRAFFIC LIGHT SHOOT-OUT
for Milton Sagastizado

Green leaves
the weather that changed them,
cold. The bicycle's hooded rider
was a friend.  A student.  A neighbor,
a neighbor I knew as a student.

Yellow drawings
the chalk used to draw them,
crushed.  The bicycle's hooded rider
was familiar. A boy. A man,
a man who I knew as a boy.

Red puddles,
the veins that released them,
dry.  The bicycle's hooded rider
was a stranger. A body. A corpse,
a corpse I knew as somebody.


Joseito
Cara 3

GREETINGS FROM THE WAR

I will greet you with flowers
no matter how many
bullets you bring.

        I will greet you with bullets
        because the flowers you greet me with
        are from my garden.

I will greet you with song
though you curse me
and raise arms against me.

        I will greet you with curses
        because the wounded child at your feet
        is my only son.

I will greet you with embraces
though the knife you carry
cuts away at my arms.

        I will greet you with knives
        they are made from the shrapnel
        I pulled from my leg.

 

AND MIRIAM CRIED

Usually she wraps a smile around her blues
keeping secret the purpled swollen stains
her mother's body gives birth to,
the children of her husband's anger.

Today tears mark the blacktop momentarily,
before evaporating.

Her father, a thin, slight man, waves and smiles
from behind the mesh of the playground gate,
his fingers press their imprint onto her mother's arm.

She stands listening to the tetherball chain clang,
wrapping around the metal pole
her fathers words wring in her ears.

"Say goodbye to your mother."


Joseito
Cara 4

 

BOREDOM CREATES OPPORTUNITY

boredom creates opportunity
blue caprice classic
four door sedan
papi's ride
license at 18
girl in blue dress
party downtown

boredom creates opportunity
bronx park at 2 am
car stops
you want to
sure, you
ok

back seat
fogged windows
dress rises
pants drop
not there
her hand directs him
car bounces
stops
tissue from the glove compartment
wipes seat clean
he sweats
she gets out
sits in front
thank you
slips from his mouth
as he slides into the driver's seat
he read in a sci-fi book
that you should
say that

she stands at the car door
kissed him
thank you
he says again
thank you very much


I FEAR THE HOWLING OF HOUNDS

The mastiffs are hungry, and we
are worth no more to their owners
than an arroba of wine.  Child
listen to the threat of howling hounds
and forgive me.  Forgive the way
my hands caress rope into noose.

 


Joseito
Cara 8

Samuel Miranda is a teacher of English at Bell Multicultural High School.  He has read at the Kennedy Center, The Arts Club of Washington, and as part of the "Dreams for America" series sponsored by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities and the Folger Shakespeare Library.  He is the author of the chapbook Tossing Tokens, and is featured in Dropping Dime, a CD compilation of writers and musicians from Washington, DC.  Mr. Miranda received his MFA from Bennington College earlier this year.

Published in Volume 6, Number 2, Spring 2005.

 

To read more by this author:
Samuel Miranda: DC Places Issue