A mourning dove steps over cracks in a stone walk,
her breast webbed in strands of fading sunlight.
The neighbor’s cat unrolls his tongue, a spiked yawn,
whispers his tail in a communion of fallen leaves.
Men bent over, shuffle their lives in patched camouflage
knapsacks. From the corner liquor store, their voices coat
the street. Arturo Moreno stands on one leg in his yard,
with the other leg, bruises the ribs of his perro pequeno.
Women gather their children under clothes lines. Wooden pins
grip, while toothless smiles flower from beneath damp canvas
work shirts. A parked truck will not start, its rusted
body trembles, exhaust tainting the smell of carne frito
as it blackens on the burner in casa 314.
Dust rises at the vein stitched feet of Senora Mendoza, recently
ninety-two, as she beats the sidewalk with a yellow plastic broom.
Jamie Figueroa is a student majoring in Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her work has been published in various literary journals including Split Oak Press and Eklecksographia. Her blog “With This Pen” explores race, identity, and relationships and runs in the Santa Fe Reporter’s online edition.