THE sun is a phoenix diving into the horizon, dispersing its light in dots, specks, and bursts till it fills the city. It slowly becomes blanketed in darkness. The wires are a messy bundle of vines, falling and rising into posts. The pavement is shattered porcelain, repeatedly fixed and broken over and over again. Copper roofs contrast the silver beams of skyscrapers. Capitalism knows not how to sleep with its neon signs, bright billboards, and bustling streets. People crowd the roads, trying to rush home as barkers yell at the top of their lungs. The cars’ beeping is a headache. Beggars hold out their hands and empty cups to ask for alms. In the streets, children play patintero with death. The heads of the people walking bob in the distance like the ocean’s waves. They look straight ahead, not minding this urban chaos.
You are a wreck, dear city.
In you, we leave a trail of broken dreams, missed opportunities, and predicted failures; you are a witness. Every corner of you is a threat; danger lurks in you. We do not know if we may see another day; we may not be able to ease our hunger or we may find ourselves with a knife to the heart or a bullet to the brain. Yet it is in you, dear city, that we find hope in your alleyways and ruins and in your people whom we lock eyes with in the streets; that in you, we may find comfort. F DJULIENNE FLOR V. FOSTER