by Frankie A Soto
Who could only talk with a cigarette & cough
left his oxygen on an island he never wanted to leave 30 years ago.
Cough vibrating—base of a Big Pun song booming off lungs mistaken for speakers.
mentioned how the breeze in Puerto Rico was fresher. Never talked about the inability
to withstand any breeze without hovering over in complete despair.
A superman crashing into San Juan shores—retired bus driver now crashing into
fight to seize that one inhale of breath that doesn’t
cause riots in your chest—each gasp a rebellion.
reach into the back pocket of your car oil knee stained khakis
for a lighter—Papi pásame mis cigarrillos
a John 3:16 verse—favorite Beatles song.
The mechanic in blood believes everything under the hood is repairable.
never seen an engine that couldn’t be fixed with bloody knuckles,
a tool kit & a rag.
Bragged about libido at sixty-four
reminisced about that one girl with the freckled face
—the motor of a 1970 Chevy Chevelle
—laugh that could make him forget the lump.
extraterrestrial is steering its aircraft straight into your brown skin
—you carefree singing Hector Lavoe as another puff is gingerly taken.
Papi no tengo miedo de morir
grabs the tool kit to continue working on the truck that never
leaves the driveway.
The one he’s been trying to finish his whole life.
The one that can't write this cigarette out the plot.
It’s just one more papi,
not knowing which one of us he is trying to convince.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frankie A Soto is an author & poet. He is a two-time winner of the Multicultural Poet of the year award from the National Spoken Word Poetry Awards. The New York Times called him "an absolute force." He has featured for ABC News, the Mayors, and has traveled the country actively touring and running workshops at Colleges and Universities. He has been published worldwide for online and print publications, and his third book is awaiting release.
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