Neruda on the Park by Cleyvis Natera
The sound of split wooden frames, shattered glass windows, and fractured brownstone woke her. Luz imagined a huge crash, her body hurling toward a windshield, or some other kind of hurt. Then, as silence followed, she burrowed deeper into her covers, relieved. It was only moments before her wind-chime alarm, before Mami handed her a cup of coffee and Papi looked on at her, so very proud. She left their apartment, ready. Today—the biggest day, the day that would set everything in motion. Luz walked out into Nothar Park, where she watched a wrecking ball swing back and forth from a crane. She picked up part of a brick that had skittered out to the sidewalk, noting how close to her own skin tone it was, a color Eusebia, her mother, called casi puro cafecito. Hardly any milk there, she always said, with an edge of concern, finding it impossible to simply use the word Black. The crane’s neck moved, and the metal rope swung the ball forward, striking again. The noise grew noticeably louder. The wall resisted. But the force of the pressure caused a crater where it hit, and from it, tiny lines extended like wrinkles.