– Willie Perdomo –


Las Delicias  
If you had to smuggle a score out of Egypt,  
The password would be Ponce— 
Dead-­‐dog ballads for roasted pigs, guayabera
Dialogues, the dead on town display— 
The grant of heaven by block party,
Grass dust, a sweet, immaculate lion— 
The plaza whistles sunset, a frozen 
Fire truck the color of massacre blood. 

Sunday in the Park with Rose
It went down like this:
We were on the bench
Making promises again—
That much was on the edge.
Rose died of nightclub fever:
A quick bump in the bathroom,
The vicious onslaught of applause,
And the eyelids on her charts
Would slam shut. The bolero
She sang that final morning
Had a sense of when to end things.
It swept yesterday’s mess
Off the front step, meditated
On the things we hang dry.

Salchicha con Juevo
The scene was sprayed with a breakfast fix,
Even the dust heads stopped riffing for free.
Out came the mandolins for the mandarins,
Violins for the vespers—Our Thing
Used to be for the stay alive, the sangre viva,
The sacred & the snakes, too. When her
Heart exploded, you could see fame’s
Chipped tooth, the house-­‐fire, the attempt—
Not one but two.  Her rubies were stashed
In paper bags, Bustelo cans, graveyard dirt.
Told Rose in downbeat, in up-­‐tempo, told her:
Yo, you could be the center of your song, but
You can’t be the star of it, babe.