Spring 2011

Volume 6, Issue 1



A man sings about his church and I remember mine


God, I didn’t think of it in years
the color of fog,
of forgetfulness,

and now I remember
the small country church where I got married
on a day the color of rain.

The man’s voice reaches out, a warm hand,
when the train’s doors close:
Yo quiero una iglesia

and I picture a church the color of a cloud
where painted angels sing
with parched lips.

Grass blades burst from the man’s guitar,
leaves leap,

vines arch through
the subway car and curl
around the people.

Una iglesia,
and something about verdad,
his voice gentle and greening
toward the end of the song.

The young hooker with a hole
in her fishnet stocking
takes out a dollar,

as does the old man with a patriarch beard
who reads Spanish stories next to me.

Verde, verdad,
a green and ancient truth,

and the train pulls into the station.
The man trails behind him
the song’s vines onto the platform,

and the late night crowd steps out
into Times Square’s green pastures.





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© 2011 Americana: The Institute for the Study of American Popular Culture