The air in my barrio
bulges with ash, the remains
of dead poets, dried-out painters,
and sick-sounding musicians. Skeletons
of talento that never found breath.
I sit, estancada, in this hole,
condemnation filling me.
My dying ideas crinkle and shuffle
but no one, not even the flea
on a cat’s hairy back, wants them.
Dreams peak in my mind as dusty dirges,
polvo floating down Figueroa to settle,
abandoned. In a one-room apartment
the homeless grow and light fires for the warmth
of words I will never write and they will never hear.
*estancada—stuck, bogged down, stagnating