DOMINGO POR LAS TARDES, EN PARAMOUNT / OR ARS POETICA
felipe bruno de la rosa
I’m on the roof today
laying the sheathing,
sawing off the edges when it pours
over the rafters—I see the cord of my saw
caught at the edge, I unravel it.
From my beatbox, Don Cheto yells,
“¡En esta hora tenemos el borracho alegre!”
Two houses south, carne asada roars.
The grill master se empina una caguama;
the sweat of it races that of the grill master’s
to see who refreshes faster.
As they set the caguama down, they lay another
piece of carne on the grill, with as much care
as though setting a tree in its new home.
On the street beside the jacarandas, kids
dart and shout:
“¡Ah que no me puedes cachar!
When the street rains jacaranda leaves,
the kids look up pretending
it snows on them.
Place your ears against the wind
and you can hear
wishes for real snow.
By the north wall that borders us from the 105,
the city sent someone to cover what once said,
“También de este lado florecen sueños.”
The man draped in white rocks
slowly like melting snow.
He covers the letters
that may have been left
by their own child’s hands.
In the house in front of mine
the doñas of the block sit around pan dulce
sipping cafecito, while they edit The Neighborhood Times:
so and so’s son was picked up last night,
so and so’s daughter came home at nine.
Behind me, a father
lines their family’s clothes
while their baby throws grass
in the air, watching it fall like confetti
on top of their bullterrier.
I notice the daymoon staring, contemplating my work,
another inspector making sure I do my job right.
Even from here I can see it write
on its check list the minute details I missed:
the nail off by an eighth of an inch.
I look back at my sheathing,
stare at the eighth of an inch,
and replace it with a new one.
Felipe De La Rosa is a first-generation graduate of California State University Long Beach, where he obtained his undergraduate degree in English, Creative Writing. He is currently working towards obtaining an MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry, at San José State University. Felipe's work focuses on bilingualism as a form of empowerment. As a Chicano from South East Los Angeles, he writes about his experiences in labor work and community struggles from a perspective desiring change.