Eyelids droop—
not like tecatos
slumped and scratching
scabbed and sun-burnt skin,
but with sober silence
soaking the air after storm
turned all to ruin.

Body bare—
not like sunbathers
on Condado’s beach,
curated bodies
coated with Bain de Soleil,
but the nakedness of wind and want
and the bitter scent of dread.

Rooster in arms—
not a blue-plumed gallo de pelea
wearing spurs, sporting men
betting next month’s rent
for a better chance,
but a gallo that dreams
a gallina and golden eggs.

On a tall concrete wall—
not a factory facade
in Trastalleres, barrio peppered
with printers’ and mechanics’ shops,
but a wall turned auburn phoenix
on Santurce’s rebirthed streets,
acrylics flowing like amniotic fluid
in the muralist’s hands.






NOTE: This is an ekphrastic poem written in response to the mural by Luís Pérez that appears on the front cover of my book, Hurricanes, Love Affairs, and Other Disasters, as well as a tribute to the Santurce Es Ley street art movement.