"Where the starzz come to shyne!"
N.V. Torres
Sweet Tea

My lover from the northside
has gone to pick me flowers from my neighbor's garden
My honey boy, sticky and fresh
tangerine lips
How can I forget?
A smile that I feel somewhere deep
tickles my feet
Lost in his eyes
open spaces
where my heart is free to fly,

my lover from the northside...

made me breakfast while I was still in bed
Eggs, toast with jelly
and a nice hot cup of tea
'Extra sugar, please!'
Sipped his love slowly
Like the hymns of the pigeons outside
Mama said he seems like a good guy
And his hands never do lie,

my lover from the northside...

isn't as tough as he appears
Not stone-cold, grim
Yes, the boy loves his Tims
but when the boots come off -
under my bed
He is the perfect shade of red
Passionate and gentle at the same time
I'm a mosquito
and his sweet blood makes my tongue cry,

my lover from the northside -

his love spreads far
from here to Crooklyn
Feels like warm milk spilling in
He carries this poem in his back pocket
Understands the similes and metaphors -
says 'baby, I got it'
And on Sundays we lay
while the city's melody plays
Are those fireworks I hear
or bombs coming down?
It doesn't matter
Its calm in here
for now.


Kensington Avenue

For her
it is more than a road
It is an entry -
An arched doorway into things unknown to her since girlhood -
money,
a warm apartment,
the love of a father or man.

For her it is a stuffer -
It pays the rent
But it fills the empty spaces between the ridges.
It was water under the bridges
that filled her womb.
"The bump" -
that's what she calls it.
It grows
and grows evenly with each slouching day and
each busy night.

For her
it was always this...
the avenue;
whistles and
trickles;
drip drops of random men
Piecing together the ends
because at the closing of each month
it all starts to make sense;
Everyone gets what they want.

But at the very end
It is always more than what money can buy -
More than the dirty deeds of her pretty little mouth;
It is more than
the cha and the
ching.
She aches
and needs.
She...
wants to feel open
and exposed
and splattered
in the backseats -
Used
but
wanted.
N.V. Torres
N.V. Torres is a poet and artist of Puerto Rican
descent. Born and raised in Philadelphia,
collection of poetry, I Know All The Right Things
Northside Cries & Lullabies, in the winter of 2010.