It is these streets that call me back
a mosaic, in stones cut, dark and light,
along the shore, around the lake

the purity of flowers amid the carelessness
of trash rolling down embankment
fon-fon of traffic, ease of stroll

cores chegueis of those women’s shirts
dirt there are no funds to wash away
lined face, old man’s hand stretched out

young mother hugging filhotinho to her
walking briskly smiling her whispered
small words into tiny ear, painted walls

with names and numbers of unremembered
candidates, shops no longer here, faded
words peeling, recovered with new reds

greens, black lines, new cellphones, VISA
Mastercard signs, wash over walls,
HipHop says one borracheiro another

there has never been but this mix of now
forever, been never other than these feet
of all colors, all paces, carrying our river

down paths green roads gray, limping
trudging, hobbling, heavy burdens,
thin dogs sniffing everywhere, kids

run, screech, dance laughing, mãe they cry
when I was here before, before again,
even after, always, fading brightening

holding me this morning any morning
in this heart so large that time herself
deflects pra tomar copo, bater papo

because futebol continues, rain may come
or not, fields dry, novela gripping políticos
embroiled in yet another sacanagem

ô Brasil this song you sing me may I
always walk within the pulse sounding
even far from cachaça borboleta cuica

far from great muddy stream so wide
no other bank seems to exist, if I be rich
or free, cripple, drunk, striding, voice

strong faint eyes clear or cloudy, toucan
raucous, trees bent with fruit, life ending,
beginning, flowing down always these streets

Sete Lagoas

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