Suicide Of A Puerto Rican Jibaro In Mainland Buffalo

They didn’t understand.
They were all Americans now.
He would smile sometimes,
thinking about his youth in Ponce,
Carmen, Rosa, Teresa & Liza.
Holding on to dreams
that helped him stay alive.
The tropical music that was killed
by the new sound of “salsa.”
But they didn’t understand,
his children didn’t understand.
A million times his body was raped
by the unfriendly cold.
The farm he sacrificed
to pursue the American Dream,
trying to buy some dignity in the trade
of the unemployment office,
shoveling the snow that invaded
his tropical existence.
He would walk up Virginia Street
and down Hudson Street,
searching
for some clues of understanding,
but
only
found
new inventions of nightmares
that wanted to destroy his dreams.
The dead dreams
that helped him stay alive
were too weak
for the American nightmare.
They didn’t understand.
They were
all Americans now.

by Alberto Cappas

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