Avalon · Patricia Carragon

Summertime samba,
Astoria, 2016.

Amid gentrification,
trees twice their size
shade my former block.

A few two-family homes,
still guarded
by roses and basil.

Fragrance from
homemade tomato sauce
sends me back in time.

From an open window,
a Bryan Ferry song plays.

The samba takes one
out of nowhere,
but my party’s long over.

He never came—
I will never know why.

Over the years,
my samba went solo:
eight heartbeats
per step—

um – dois –três – quatro –
cinco – seis – sete – oito

It’s getting late –
the Brooklyn-bound N
arrives on time.

Phantom thoughts
walk to the exit.

Life’s picture
in constant change.

But eight heartbeats
per step
can’t convince me
that I still have
what guys want.

Patricia Carragon’s recent publications include Bear Creek Haiku, Jerry Jazz Musician, First-Literary Review East, Panoplyzine, The Café Review, Muddy River Poetry Review, and Sensitive Skin. Her latest book is Meowku (Poets Wear Prada 2019). Patricia hosts the Brooklyn-based Brownstone Poets and is the editor-in-chief of its annual anthology.