Where Will We Sleep?/Donde dormiran?/The Transbay Terminal Eviction/El Desalojo de la transvia terminal

Tiny - Posted on 25 August 2010


I miss you.  They spat at you, called you ugly, said you were dark and dreary and needed to be torn down.  They called for your removal, your death.  Just the other day a guy was quoted in the Chronicle saying you were dirty and needed to be replaced by something new, something that would shuttle us into the current millennium.  The guy who said those words was an accountant—a commuter, as we all are—passing through this life that is so short and precious.  He spoke with an accountant’s mouth, saw with an accountant’s eyes, smelled with an accountant’s nose.  Someone once said, “it isn’t what you look at, it’s what you see”.  Dark and dreary—is that what the accountant saw when he looked at your face?


When I look at you I see beauty.  I see a kid running on your platform pulling away from his Grandma on the way to the circus.  We would board the AC transit bus, which was like a magic bus.  It would rattle and slam like a box of candy colored lights.  I remember the smoke rising from the tail pipe and the steam that seemed to come from under the ground, waiting to escape like laughter and tears kept inside too long.  I remember your eyes that were windows that could never be broken.  I remember your voice when you said, “Mind your Grandmother, boy”.  I remember your dark hands--hard hands.  Hands that said more than poets could, hands that reached into a pocket and pulled out a nickel or candy that kissed the palm of my hand. I squeezed my hands and eyes shut and never stopped dreaming of your face, your face of tears, of poems, of laughter, of jazz, of rhythm, of heartbreak, of community.


You are beautiful.  Your benches creak with stories carved with the marrow of our bones--strong enough to hold us, and sometimes cradle us when our fellow citizens, fellow human beings couldn’t.  Your benches gave our backs a rest; gave us a bit of warmth, a bit of time for us to dream, to connect with who we really were, and to see our mother’s face, our grandmother’s face again before being jolted awake and told to move on.  We steadied ourselves going up and down your staircases and when we fell, your banisters were within reach, pulling us back up.  On your walls were the poems that rise and fall like waves—travelling back and forth, ringing and echoing night and day, deep inside your belly of a million sounds. You are beautiful, a place when there was no place.


They are going to tear you down and replace you with a monstrosity that will resemble the federal building on 7th street.  The accountants of the world are banking on it.  But I hear a rumbling; it’s coming from beneath. The lights are coming through the unbroken windows that are your eyes.  The trees that provided your benches have sprouted into a new forest.  The wind is stirring.  Your eyes are open and they are still beautiful and I am that kid again, following my Grandmother’s spirit as I walk across your platform for the first time.  I see you; your face is covered with the beautiful dirt of your life, the dirt of a poet’s hands.  They can’t wash it away—no matter how hard they try.




Thx Senor Robles - this is a beautiful piece of prose about a very serious subject Never spoken, much-less written about- The work being done at POOR Magazine is beyond cutting-edge and so Important! thanks to all of you!


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