Dekalb Avenue

Dekalb Avenue

Dekalb is titi’s house.
Grover Cleveland’s tracks lead to 
Dr. Mederos on St. Nicholas,
Chinese on Wyckoff by the B38,
Corner of Irving, a brick building — beige. 

Crosses jutting out all over.
My whole childhood, shuttered.
Sophi’s hair salon after.
Tony’s Pizza on the corner of Knickerbocker.

The cuchifrito, Cecilia’s, where titi always gets the mangú.
Next to the newsstand where uncle Louie gets the gum that tastes like soap.

This is titi’s block.

Across from the place you can rent for parties.
Three creaky metal studded flights up 
that are shorter than the length of your feet
so you always feel like you’re falling even when you’re climbing.

Her bell never works. Gotta scream.
From out her metal barred window, she drops the keys.
Dekalb is the turrón titi ate with me.
The clothesline outside her window, wooden clothespins pinched between her lips.
The Reggaeton, the Salsa, the Merengue, the Bachata,
at all hours of the morning, never letting poor titi sleep.

The only survivor now is the pizzeria, and the tracks.
The rest you can only visit in memories, photos, or Google Maps.
They even gentrified the piraqua stands.

Leave my ice alone.
Dekalb Avenue. Not “Deh-kolb.” The L train says it wrong.
Dee-Kalb. It’s titi’s house. It’s childhood. It’s home.

Feeling nostalgic. May polish it for “sound” later. Love you, titi! Muchiiisimo!

Prompt: Hollow

Prompt: Hollow

Her heathered hands gleam in the sun as
she hollows a hill with ease.
This hallowed being who speaks in harps,
her hair, the glimmering seas.

Her aura, heavy, as a hammer.
Like a feather, she hovers high.

Our holy Goddess hums her healing, 
as sweet as a lullaby.

Art by Yuchi

I had a hard time with this prompt. This was the last of 30 prompts. The deadline was May 7th for the Versification contest. Still waiting for the winners to be announced. I haven’t written this much poetry in years. I think focusing on a theme, and keeping them short helped get the gears turning. I had fun. 🙂

Prompt: Ephemeral

Prompt: Ephemeral
Life, ephemeral. Grief, perpetual.
How deep her knees burrow
into soil. A thumb of tallow,
a gasping candle, swallowed by gusts
of ramming winds. From the gravel,
handless arms rise, and tremble.
Endless sorrow, its cries guttural.
Those left after death face pain, insurmountable.

Art by FallanDark

Prompt: Clandestine

Prompt: Clandestine

To the royal gardens, the Empress of the East retreats.
Heart torn by the Emperor, and his mistress. The Empress,
hair claret as rubies, waters her scarlet roses with her sorrow.

A clandestine letter from the unmarried King of the West.
Tied with carmine ribbon — a proposal.

Lovers from rival realms. On horseback, the Empress rides West with its King.
The red roses of the west are rumored to never be as radiant as the East’s.
The Western Queen’s vermillion smile, however, there is no comparable beauty.

Prompt: Angst

Prompt: Angst
With sharp jagged teeth, this angst gnaws.
My heart squeezed by the devil’s claws.
Dread carves in me like a pitsaw.
Fetor of bodies. Fresh, and raw.

No adventurer should wander these caves.
For treasure, I ignored human remains.
In darkness, I maunder. To Gods, I pray.
My life squandered. It is death I now face.

Art from:

Prompt: Escape

Prompt: Escape
An enemy country kidnapped a princess, already betrothed.
Locked her in the castle’s tallest tower, fortified with stone.
The uncaring prince did not agonize over her lover back home.

What he didn’t know, was the princess was a mage.
What he didn’t know, was she had means of escape.
What he didn’t know, was a dragon was her fiancé.

Her fiancé’s roar shook enemy lands like an earthquake. The princess grinned.
And with the twist of her fingers — she set the castle ablaze.

Art by Asur-Misoa

Prompt: Courage

Prompt: Courage

A mountain village. Stripped down to the bone.
A burning tonnage. Deaths of famine sown.

Winter’s bitter bite. Bears teeth as tombstones.
A young witch’s intoned prayers. Spells unhoned.

Such ill placed resentment, does sorrow smite.
A witch slayer fetched. Her head for a price.

Her eyes clear. Like the marbled midnight skies.
Bereft of courage, was the hunter’s knife.

Art by ArtofReza

Prompt: Silence

Prompt: Silence
A lonesome, crying orphan, no more than four.
The broken silence of the forest. The aftermath of war.

Antlers like thick branches. A regal shadow floats.
Above the green, it asks, “My dear, are you alone?”

“D-deer?” The toddler hiccups, enamored by glowing fireflies.
The child starved of warmth, an immeasurable amount of time.

The forest’s guardian lifts her up, and up, and up. Into its loving grasp.
“You are mine now,” it promises, and beyond the veil, they vanish.

I’m not sure if I like this one. I feel like I can get it to “sound” better, but I have a lot of prompts to catch up to for the contest. If I have time, I’ll return to it. 🙂

Art by: