Samuel Miranda

The Tecata Dances on Park Road

The stained glass martyrs
are the only ones who see me dancing
they stare from the windows
that imprison them

everyone else who passes is blind
to my nakedness
they cannot see the way
my bare feet shuffle
across cement until they bleed
out my addiction to these

saints who don’t judge
my skeletal frame,
they know love’s thinning
when you’re strung out on it
so they smile as I heat up
the pavement with my Saturday night
at Habana Village steps.

I dance in front of the Baptist church
so that God can see I’m grace-full
and send me ten dollars
‘cause I’m two steps from need
and three steps from opening up the bidding.

In front of the botanica
the smell of incense
and the memory of drumming
make my body spasm
as if I’m being mounted
so I stop dancing
cause today even the gods
are going to have to pay

DC Places Issue, Vol. 7:3, Summer 2006.

Samuel Miranda is an educator, poet and visual artist who makes his home in Washington, DC. His work has been published in the anthologies Knocking on the Door of the White House: Latina and Latino Poets in Washington, D.C., Full Moon on K Street: Poems About Washington, DC and DC Poets Against the War. He develops and facilitates interactive poetry workshops for youth and adults and holds an MFA from The Bennington Writing Seminars. To read more by this author: Five Poems, Vol. 6:2, Spring 2005.