[To say I love you put a bird on a wire]

Mike Soto

To say I love you put a bird on a wire
so I told her enough times to get an abacus
going in the sky. To follow her body
made my heartbeat a flight of stairs,
of swallows twisting up to the tower
of a bell which went silent on the condition
of Consuelo & I & dusk & the roofs suddenly
everywhere around us. We weren’t afraid,
what people thought of us on a distant
ship that would never reach the shore,
& since everyday Death said hello in
a different manner, not one kiss went
missing, not one ecstatic gaze,
nor the desire to love each other above
the apathy of passing cars, the people
coming to church, crossing themselves
& us, giving up their blessing by mistake.
The paletero barking out his flavors,
making us laugh, because what kind
of ice cream man is angry.