Jose Padua



In a hotel bar
on 47th and Broadway
there’s bourbon and pretzels on the table,
a copy of my hometown paper by the window,
and I’m chatting with the waitress,
an old girlfriend of mine.
On the TV is a baseball game --
it’s The Twins vs. The Blue Jays,
and though I’ve had several hours worth
of strong drinks and stale cigarettes
I’m not seeing two of anything
and the only birds I see are
in my mind.

At the end of the night
I get into a cab with the waitress,
and as we head downtown
in the after midnight noise and lights,
Times Square suddenly becomes
Amsterdam, Bangkok, Berlin,
and I feel like we’re tourists on holiday
taking each passing minute
on the cuff.

But I’m thinking
that maybe this is really Disneyland,
and we’re children,
feeling what we’re supposed to feel
as we hold our tickets in hand
to go on a ride through the heart of a shrinking world
which will abandon us
as love
and magic
long ago.

Jose Padua’s poetry and fiction have appeared in Bomb,, Exquisite Corpse, Another Chicago Magazine, and Up is Up, but So Is Down: New York's Downtown Literary Scene, 1974-1992. His features and reviews have been published widely. He has read his work at the Lollapalooza Festival, CBGBs, the Knitting Factory, and the Washington Project for the Arts.


Published in Volume 8, Number 4, Fall 2007.


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