Rua São Gonçalo
by LIZ RODRIGUES
The street has two sounds:
the bus and the slap
Two smells and two people,
varnish and old coconut,
one-eyed green shells piled with the chipped roof stucco;
woman and child, hip slung,
staring at the woman’s neck as her head twists
toward the sound of a motor,
route number swimming in her eye
as a bus rides the rolling cobblestones,
tilting on all axes.
There is an addition here, between these elements,
and a sum. There
are small, tight-fleshed fruits tucked into
palm and cashew trees
that lean over cement walls so each leaf carves a precise darkness
from the overbearing light,
and any breeze only moves the unblurring edges
of what is unexposed.
LIZ RODRIGUES is a graduate of Kenyon College and the MFA program of Florida Atlantic University, where she was a Sanders Fellow. Liz is currently a PhD student in English literature at the University of Michigan.