Maria's Journey

She was sitting there.
The lonely traffic passing by.
Thinking of yesterday when Mommy
Used to cry in protest.
The warm air freezing her body,
Listening to broken down voices of edited confusion.
Subway rides traveling to nowhere.
The wino on the corner learning to read
The New York Times.
The polluted smell of everything hanging around her body.
Thinking of yesterday when Fernando told her:
“If you love me - you have to prove it.”
She was sitting there.
Hating the endless hours of the night.
Those that passed looked at her with inviting eyes
That wanted to come out after her.
Black and Puerto Rican kids playing Cowboys and Indians
After dark in the backyard streets
Where all of them,
The Rats, the Dogs, the Cats, and the Pushers
Hold their daily meetings.
She was sitting there,
Hating her for accepting a defeat that loved her.
The lonely traffic passing by.
Bars and liquor stores on every corner conditioning the younger victims
While drug dealers count their money of death.
Thinking of yesterday.
Her trip from Puerto Rico and her first introduction
To the New York cold that ravaged her body.
Sitting there.
Thinking of yesterday when Freddie played her wrong,
Accusing her of being a puta for no reason at all.
He is now happily married to a girl
From Queens who makes love to the Dog next door.
Thinking of yesterday,
The dances, the parties, and the James Bond movies
She loved so much.
And now,
Waiting for the overdose,
Of everything to take effect.

by Alberto Cappas

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