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--- V I C T O R   H E R N A N D E Z   C R U Z

Once for the first time
the one time
A television floated into
our apartment
And the new world
became more faces and places.
Out of that box
the world started to spin.
The passage of a child
it felt like green heat
grey cold
Geography at six years,
odor, touch and colors.
The corners became different,
down the street
A clarity of edges
iron and still,
No more palms
or papayas hanging
Like footballs,
a deep red in the hallways
Marble pillars,
brass mailboxes shining
like a song,
Stairs from which you saw
no mountains
Up above
a bigger country
With a smaller sky.
The way those things were
You'd learn how to pronounce
a word
And couldn't find an object
to put it on -
So many contraptions
which had no sound.
The monster of the train,
a giant subterranean dinosaur,
It made a noise of speed
and banged around,
I expected tropical rivers
at the end of the line
Of the IRT,
Bamboos folding and molding
into church archways
In the wild.
The lizards of the last
Scurried into cement,
the coguis song
Became snow.
At night I was attentive
to the new glacial age
Which I had entered too
Through some flash of
a wand.

Claribel the clown made you sit still Almost ready to eat the television. "It's howdy-doodie time" Que? What happened to my grandfather singing with Guitars - and trucks which passed With hanging cane - White birds with long necks curved Like question marks?

Claribel the clown had that horn Which he squeezed "O.K. kids…" My ears fresh out of the Spanish strained Fua Fua He blew the horn again, then commercials of Candy bars chocolate dripping, Cup cakes animated through space, Bazooka bubbles bigger than heads, Some Castro Convertible furniture store A little girl bouncing like a ball upon a Mattress. Later in deep night I plotted going inside that box of lights, Cause that's where all that chocolate was melting, chiclets and that little girl, All up there in those tubes, Go in through all those wires, come out wearing Hop-Along Cassidy's Black hat, blowing Claribel the clown's Horn at Sky King charge down Avenue D On Lone Ranger's horse Silver. Falling asleep: dreams of immense tropical Flora, an ox I once saw, A waterfall caressing a mountain, Mangos the size of New York buildings all the pipes turn Into bamboo shoots. In that time ago which was once.

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