IN RESPONSE TO PEOPLE TRYING TO RENAME
THE SOUTH BRONX “THE PIANO DISTRICT”
Of course they only see
the white keys— not
the dark strings inside,
veins that feed the heart,
that do the actual singing.
LOOKING DOWN FROM ATOP
THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
Such crowds flow through this city—
the tops of their heads look like so many
pennies at the bottom of a wishing well
rippling beneath another tossed prayer.
TULIPS IN WINTER
Unblossomed on a windowsill,
white heads bowed in surrender:
ghosts that tremble in the wake
of wrecking balls, that haunt
men in hardhats until the walls
crumble into the dirty slush.
Where are the hands that placed
them on that ledge, waiting
for them to burst open? Soon,
it will all melt into spring—
that is, it will be forgotten.
Ariel Francisco is a first generation American poet of Dominican and Guatemalan descent. He is currently completing his MFA at Florida International University where he is the editor-in-chief of Gulf Stream Literary Magazine. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Gulf Coast, Tupelo Quarterly, Washington Square, and elsewhere, and his chapbook “Before Snowfall, After Rain" is forthcoming from Glass Poetry Press. He lives in Miami, FL.