San Carlos

San Carlos is a dog

rousing itself from the paving stones

to comb the streets for food,

a kingfisher swooping down

on its glittering prey,

a woman singing to herself

as she sweeps the sidewalk clean.


Last night’s throbbing disco,

the accordians and guitars,

the people rocking in the doorways

have given way to

vendors on their pedales

hawking the morning’s catch,

girls parading with baskets of

warm sweet breads

balanced on their heads,

lanky fishermen

climbing out of  their pangas

with hoops of fish

slung over their shoulders

while their plump wives,

reclining in the stern,

hoist their babies into

the spotless azure sky.


On the malecon

a line of early risers

leans across the railings,

watching them unload

huge bunches of bananas

from the powder blue boats

onto the orange pier.


In the harbor

the metal figure of a girl,

unable to shoo away

the herons perched on her arm,

gazes across the lake

to where the river begins,

and dreams of journeys never made,

of longings never fulfilled.


(Originally published in Phree Write Magazine)

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