Un Café Bustelo Empty Can, A Fire hydrant on Blast Equated to Hope
Written By: Astrid Ferguson
It begins with a drip
A street corner
And the wind whispers on desolate front stoops.
The Sun meets the front main door of buildings
Ju no, where Morris and Jerome Ave kiss
Mugged up buzzers
Waiting fifteen minutes
For someone to buzz you in, was an average day.
Meanwhile, Estefanie goes to the nearest bodega
Buys a dollar worth of candy
Y una botella de Frambuesa
Wearing Chanclas y mama’s bata
The beginning of una tarde de verano en Nueva Yol.
Moreno llama Franklin,
Franklin yells up the third-floor window
Where all the sheets and gramma panties are hanging out to dry
On the cable wire tied to the fire escape.
Mira Toni baja que comienza la fiesta
Franklin, Moreno, Toni and
Everyone comes down with shorts
And a cooler full of Coronas y esquimalitos.
One empty can of Café Bustelo
Rainbow colored lenguas sticking out
A strong Grip
Every Honda that passed by, New York Style.
Free car washes
No membership pool party
No fighting for spots on the sand at Connecticut beaches
Con Mami’s old dingy blanket.
Fire hydrants booming like waterfalls
And cooling down our accents
Reminding us of home.
The unity of palm trees
Drip down our faces
In between the laughter of the children
Uno siempre diciendo
Mojame a mi
The un-required sunscreen
We spent an entire afternoon on concrete.
Bachata, merengue, bursting through the sub woofers
From trunks of every other Honda Civic,
Es un Verano en Nueva Yol.
The story my girl Yazmin
And I told the kids en el barrio
While sitting on the bench
Staring at the fire hydrants
The city locked down.
Those were the summer afternoons we discovered hope away from home.A
Astrid Ferguson is an Afro-Latina, Haitian and Dominican, emerging poet, author of two poetry anthologies, Molt and The Serpent’s Rattle, residing in the outskirts of Philadelphia, PA. She is a mom of two boys and wife to an emerging Philly Artist, Jerel Ferguson. She inspires awareness, healing and hope for all Afro-Latinas out there still struggling to find their voice.