• Scurrying down 19th Avenue
    Rain misting softly
    car exhaust lingering, acrid smoke
    From smoker's lungs drifts lazily in the still air

    Shop windows
    shop displays
    Waxy mannequins flaunting drab fashions flash past
    My dull brown eyes, fixed on the cracked grey pavement

    There, in the dim light
    Red umbrella
    stands alone, glowing bright
    Sheltering passersby from the softly misting rain

    Red umbrella
    white cart
    Colorful sign displaying prices:
    Vegetarian: $ 2.50 Chicken: $3.00 Pork: $3.00 Barbecued Beef: $3.50...

    He smiles, self assured
    cheerful words
    Lighting up the cold sky and plumes of smoke
    With exotic words like pico de gallo or crema agria

    None so exquisite
    As that first warm breath
    spiraling up in a curl of steam
    From a faraway land of lightning and sunshine

    Nor the first bite
    First taste
    Dancing a fiery tango on your tongue
    Burning sweetly, exploding in vibrant exultation. Consummation

    Enough to bring tears
    Nostalgia for a place you have never been
    A longing desire
    Left unfulfilled after the last crumb of masa is long gone


    Scurrying down 19th Avenue
    Snow falling softly
    Fresh, cold wind bites my fingers
    Stings my lips with icy regret

    There, in the twilight
    empty corner stands alone
    I stand with it, facing the white sky
    As frozen tears drift sadly to the cracked grey pavement

    The tamale man
    no longer smiling
    red umbrella faded
    Colorful sign gone without a trace

    No one left
    to mark his passing
    But one girl, and the sky
    And a corner on 19th Avenue