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The Weekly Croissant: Sacrificial Leaves
Sacrificial Leaves In Miami, I see mangrove trees Their wicked-witch roots Drawing up thick seawater, Bullying unwanted brine into their outermost leaves, Which turn yellow, and then red, Dropping to die gently on the ocean’s surface It’s the closest we get to Fall here A local tells me, the words dancing from her smile, Rounding cornered consonants, She laughs and points to how The pelicans conglomerate Painting patches of white shit On the sides of green islands Unrelentingly inquisitive With their resting beak faces In Little Havana, I run past A humble house with a lightbox, Containing a life-size statue of Jesus He stares at me from Behind a birthday party tent-- Reminding me of my sins, still chasing me Reminding me that I shouldn’t be here. A woman, running alone in the dark Later, at a small roadside cafe I order late night café con leche, drink beside a handwritten sign Se necesita ayuda Above it, beyond help, a pixelated picture of a pig carcass Splayed out over a family barbeque The waitress smiles, calls me corazon I stutter and stammer out A blushing reply, her sweetness occurring to me later, In the delay of translation Solo quiero pagar, por favor A resigned cheerfulness Laughing despite -- Is a baseline here As is the perfect weather, Brown skin, And the infinite color ROY G BIV layering Every city surface And I too, am cheerful for a moment, For a few days Allowing my tightly packed thoughts To unclench, like fists opening to palms Understanding that worry, like salt Can be pushed to the very edges of one's mind And allowed to crumble into the vast, blue-brown water
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