185 Harlem On my way to you, I reached the place inside me -- I call it Harlem -- which is the border between the present and the past, Where my world is almost broken, terminated, demolished -- Waning between the naught and the being, always in the dusk: Crumbling paint on slanting walls; corroded metal; stagnating Water in pipes; spit, soot, trash on cracking asphalt; rotten wood; The decaying teeth and decomposing flesh of the addicts, Invalids, cripples, homeless, deranged -- the zone between the doom And the fault, the failure and the punishment, the destruction And the defect -- the orphanage of my hopes; the ghetto of My distress; the prison of my dreams. I call this ghost Harlem, Hidden inside me, harmful and harsh -- a harlot in my home.







Previous

IRENE CĂSAR
Confined Verse
Collected Poems

Next