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Marina Carreira -USA/Portugal-


547 Market Street

The old yellow house, now coral with brown trim unrecognizable, except the onion-domed roof, careful fog surrounding it The gray walls still spider-veined, still hold in my past The burning bush— television with crooked antennas In your bedroom, the huge hand-carved rosary, billowing blue curtains of Market and East Ferry The scuffed, stuffed armoire with its loose mothball teeth An empty pigeon cage in the kitchen, the chouriças hanging upside down from the oven hood My milk bottle half full underneath the plastic couch A different house now, Avó, since you moved back to Portugal, since they tore down the Dairy Queen to put up a bank, more condos This house is now home to azaleas and rubber trees, Mexican children, tamales, cumbia, and menthol cigarette smoke Our Lady of Fátima now Guadalupe Our old stuff in boxes, in city dumps, in memory, in ashes Only the shell remains constant: its hallway, a bottom-black well, its windows, golden fish gills out of water At night, I imagine it sighs but never says a word

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