Categories
Poetry

EL BOLERO

it was all in the way you 

carried yourself before 

i set out i shined

my own shoes 

so the populace 

could see my work

my battered wingtips

with the laces busted

they walked much

but got nowhere

and still i stumble

through callejones 

and cantinas

of my memory

searching for me

with an old shoe shining box 

strapped to my shoulder

asking drunk men 

“shine your shoes?

shine your shoes?” 

but the drunks have 

no money to shine

their shoes and they 

send me to buy them 

some smokes instead

and i run and get the smokes

and steal one for my ear

and by the end of the day 

i manage to hustle 

a few pesos

and i walk home 

smoking that cigarette

counting them

Jose Pepe Arroyo

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