"Can you write a poem for me?" I asked strangers on the sidewalks.
I thrust a notebook into their surprised hands
But the pages remain blank.
Nicaragua, you glittering jewel, you red ruby in the dust
You lure us and seduce us, you keep us
Poetry runs in your blood, you say.
Words coarse through your veins.
Words are your life.
So I take to your streets, talking to your people.
"Can you write me a poem?"
But still they shake their heads no.
I stand in the square and I listen to the church bells
I watch as children set off fireworks and scream as they burst
I suck the sweetness from the pink fruit the silver-toothed lady sells me
I step aside for trotting horses with ribbons woven in their manes
I look up and the sky turns from blue to pink to gold.
"Can you write some poetry for me?" I ask the old man selling balloons.
"Here is your poetry," he answers, his hand pointing at the square, his face turning toward the disappearing sun.