Sellers in El Parque de las Palomas (The Pigeon’s Park) in Puerto Rico
They sit in concrete nests,
hands open in prayer or pleading.
They look for the dolares in pockets and wallets
and at the ends of outstretched arms,
but they do not steal. They earn each scrap and coin
like they’ve earned scars.
Skin like plátanos peels,
wrinkled. Heavy with tears of their people.
Eyes granite gray,
sun hot like death or passion.
Eyes galaxies of their own-
what cuentas they could tell.
Their tongues stick to the roofs
of their mouths like sunrises
sweat warm color.
Perspiration and perseverance-
one day they’ll roar with the pigeon wings-
but for now they are stone lions
By Talia Flores
Talia Flores is the recipient of the 2015 Texas Book Festival Fiction Prize and has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Her work appears or is forthcoming in National Poetry Quarterly, Words Dance, Souvenir Lit Journal, Gigantic Sequins, and more. She was a mentee in The Adroit Journal’s Mentorship Program, and she works as a reader for Polyphony H.S. and as an editorial intern for The Blueshift Journal. She will be attending Stanford University in the fall.