Where my steps leave no trace,
A city whose nights are birds
Picking on the breadcrumbs of memory.
I walk by trees anointed
With smells heirs of amoniac and rain,
By obese nurses in pastel gowns
Vomited by glass doors of emergency rooms,
By produce stands
Suspended as minuscule tropical jungles
Above the asphalt,
By old widows
Who have replaced their dead soul-mates
With little curly-haired dogs,
By iron trees
With fruits of traffic lights,
With eyes withdrawn by meth and ancient sorrow,
By obsessive doves
As scavengers of any meager charity.
But my legs fall out of tune
And I stop and lean beneath
A hedge of tile
That lies as the toenail of a skyscraper,
But I don’t attempt to scrape the sky anymore,
For my reach has found
The same destiny as the Tower of Babel.
And the sun comes out
From behind a cloud
Shaped as a broken dragon
And I continue to chase my shadow
In a city
Where my steps
Leave no trace.
Enrique Pallares H.