4:30 A.M. in Condado, Puerto Rico
In the waking darkness
diagonal sheets of wet music fall,
each drop a quiet cacophony
replaying the previous day:
the barking of ownerless dogs
the stop and go rush of cars,
the ubiquitous tradewinds pushing
conversations of natives and tourists
a spoken double helix of languages;
and somewhere in the near distance
incessant metal hammers
into stubborn stone.
All of this conducted
to the scented rhythm
of fried plantains and steamed paella.
All of this now is memory,
at 4:30 in the morning, sinking
with the rain drops
into the stillness of cracked sidewalks.