Escape - by Susan Arauz

I want to say something pretty so I lean against rusted iron Twisted into heart-shaped loops and

Stare at broken crosses etched into brickface.

Take in the scent of sofrito and carne molida.

Doña Ana is making pastelitos in 5B.

The sizzle curls through the blank spaces and iron slats I rest bare toes against.

Past the peeling ladder,

Her blossoming ferns and African violets are bursts of color

Floating above the far away concrete.

Six-flights up

I'm face to face with satellite dishes

Chicken coops

And after-school lovers.

Clouds swirl bluesy-purple and I swear I could stick my tongue out and taste sky,

If my mother wasn't calling me.

She's told me hundreds of times that this isn't safe.

But if it isn't,

What do we do in case of fire?