In the Village

Jerónimo's House

My house, my fairy                        and on the table
        palace, is                                       one fried fish
of perishable                                   spattered with burning
        clapboards with                             scarlet sauce,
three rooms in all,                           a little dish  
        my gray wasp’s nest                      of hominy grits
of chewed-up paper                         and four pink tissue-
        glued with spit.                              paper roses.

My home, my love-nest,                 Also I have
        is endowed                                     hung on a hook,
with a veranda                                an old French horn
        of wooden lace,                              repainted with
adorned with ferns                          aluminum paint.
        planted in sponges,                         I play each year
and the front room                          in the parade
        with red and green                          for José Marti.

left-over Christmas                         At night you’d think
        decorations                                      my house abandoned.
looped from the corners                  Come closer. You
        to the middle                                   can see and hear
above my little                                 the writing-paper
        center table                                      lines of light
of woven wicker                              and the voices of
        painted blue,                                    my radio

and four blue chairs                         singing flamencos
        and an affair                                     in between
for the smallest baby                        the lottery numbers.
        with a tray                                        When I move
with ten big beads.                           I take these things,
        Then on the walls                              not much more, from
two palm-leaf fans                           my shelter from
        and a calendar                                   the hurricane.