Dimitri Reyes


You left the neighborhood


            You left your friends                         

                                 You left your parents, grandparents,
                                       siblings, aunts, uncles

You left the corner store

                                 You left where you discovered gays and cigarettes and pot and beer


Dimitri Reyes is a SortaRican PuertoVegan poet born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. He establishes his poetic identity through personal, experiential meditations that focus on subjects such as veganism, eco- ethics, being Latino, and growing up in the inner city. Dimitri is currently in the Rutgers- Newark MFA program and his poetry is published in Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine, DryLandLit and others.

                                 You left the thoughts of how they all complemented each other
                                 like skipping school and pizza

You left the dirty mirror pics in the bathroom
with the light on
with laughter
with the stained glass butterfly
you made in a dusty summer 

                                            You left the mariposa strung up on the shower ganchos 

You left driveways where you’d ride scooters
friends in circles     taking turns
to see who’d catch who 

           the real catch 

                                            there would be no one
                                            to chase unless someone left first so

You left the various colored stoops

                      You left the side of the house that led you to church
                      that showed you faith in anything
                      You left the otherside that showed you the street
                      That showed you the cutting of cement
                      skateboard wheels caught in cracks 
                      the rock salt that split your knees

                                            You left pork chops and potatoes

You left learning 1 inch rakes were not for show

         that they broke pebbles and cultivated dead flowers called addicts

You left our saturated memories:
                     Remember that time we were about to beat up Pedro’s drunk dad?
                      Or when dopehead Eddie went luging down the hill with your skateboard?
                      Remember when he never brought it back?
                      Remember when I was high and fell off the roof running from the cops?
                      We always laughed about my hospital-to-prison transfer.
                      Remember how we weren’t allowed upstairs at night?
                      How everything smelled like burnt plastic
                                                                             and they blamed it on cheap incense?
                      Remember when one of us finally made money on the streets
                                            and everyone helped me spend my first check except of you

You left the blood on the walls

           our names signed with our punches

You left those people those noises-

           the swings
                                 the misses in half- hope attempts to find ourselves

We were the tendons in your hand
                      And when we separated you cried
You broke the wall so hard
                                 the one we’re still trying to climb

           We left you before you left us
           and you know it was better that way

We were your broken knuckles that kept you from making a fist
and sorry that a lot of us are left still punching



Esmeralda in English

The piles of Fingerhut bills are emerald.
Telemundo played. She watched security
break up a fight.  The wife was sobbing emerald
the husband’s red face blamed emerald. Laura
threw him out and all of the women were emerald.
The spanish news talked about a riot in Ecuador.
60 people were emerald.

      Dinner was served.   

Italian chicken fingers and fries. Frozen. Fried.
With little black chunks of black from
tuesday’s pork chops. The oil on the fingers
felt emerald. It was kept in a pickle jar
to reuse and made an emerald image.

The wrestler on tv got hit with a steel emerald.
A grandmother and her mother watched “Rowdy”
Roddy Piper hit Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka with a coconut.
Eddie Guerrero shouted “I’m Your Papi!” in a lowrider
that resembled emerald. The peanut shells cracking
on the bed sounded emerald. A boy ate Elio’s pizza.
It was warmed in the microwave. Doritos were
pressed into the artificial emerald
one part soggy one part crunchy.

Everyone was in bed and they rested emerald.
Action figures slept awake
aggressive faces, mouths a gnarl.
On the edges of  shelves porcelain muñecas
slept standing in moth eaten emerald.
Their southern belle dresses stared into darkness
and it was stitched emerald.

Butter, bacon, bread.
In an orange or blue morning the eggs were
frying emerald. The house woke up emerald.
Got dressed in emerald. Ate emerald.
The bathroom was fresh
with Marlboros and coffee.  
Smoky emerald.

They shopped every weekend. The black tights, black
windbreaker, white Keds. All worn emerald.
The cartridge in a gameboy was Pokémon. Pixels on the
screen read, GLOOM evolved into emerald!            

Emerald was the hand
who held the child
who held the weekends
that  left too fast.

Punched in. The ID card swipes
emerald again. The picture’s plastic.
Photographed emerald. The cleaning cart
had emerald many items. The uniform was colored
emerald. Eleven rooms were serviced that day.
All had emerald all over.

© The Acentos Review 2017