Ricardo Tavarez



Ricardo Tavarez is a Bay Area educator who teaches at Contra Costa College. He directs the Pan Dulce Poets reading series in The Mission District at La Reyna Bakery and is a member of La Brigada, an arts collective that organizes the SF International Flor y Canto Literary Festival. Ricardo’s writing is a reflection on cultural dynamics, music and memory.


We rubbed iridescent dust off paper wings

We traded warm nickels and dimes for sweet clay

that melted into warm lumps in our pockets as we swung on rusty metal

green bonsai bursts visible from the top of the metal slide

Across Riverside highway, a new cosmos

a radio pumped static beats

youth contorted limbs on pastel linoleum

A firefighter came to our door on a boat when

homes flooded, silt settled on kitchen floors

The Pajaro river water spilled into lettuce and strawberry fields

Fragile sprouts gasping beneath grey glass of mud and debris


Ode to the Angels (Boyle Heights)

To the smell of dormant drains along dusty drags,

To the sound of people talking, laughing among the sounds of steel and

              churning wheels.

To the warm air that streams down narrow streets, refreshing the passerby’s

              from the sidewalks sadness and arid sherbert sunsets.

To the surprise of a bird song in a withered city tree, scarred by pocket knives

              and errant shopping carts.

To the people with smiling, caramel faces that fill the streets on their way to

              unknown places.

To my Susana Jones who towed me to shimmering nebulas from solar eclipses.

To the school kids whose innocence reminds me of times that once were and of those that

              are yet to be.

To the sirens that call out for justice only to find the night lit by stars and orange

              street lamps.

To the rain that brings the smell of wet earth to feet exhausted from treading

              cement and asphalt.

To the land that has become the grazing pastures of sitcom caricatures.

To the buildings, countless like grains of rice in a dusty bowl that cracks under

              desert suns.

© The Acentos Review 2016