Skip to content

A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen

A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen Poem By Martín Espada

Above the deli in Hell’s Kitchen where the fire erupted,
above the firefighters charging with hoses like great serpents,
above the fingerprints of smoke smearing the night,
above the crowd calling his name with tilted faces,
above the fire truck and its ladder reaching for him,
a man leaned elbows on the third floor fire escape,
bronze skin, black hair in a braid, leather jacket,
with a grin for the firefighters
bellowing at the crowds to stand back,
a Mayan astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen
watching galaxies spiral in the fingerprints of smoke,
smoking a cigarette.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.