The San Francisco Mint

I walk down Powell
Street and see

2 guys, one
silver, the other

Maybe they broke
into a spray paint
factory and went

or maybe they were
born in a silver
and goldmine, who

Perhaps it is a
pigment of my

i grew up with
lots of color, a
Melanin menagerie
That was sometimes

my father dressed
in bright colors, so
bright that you’d mistake
him for being a singer in
an R & B group
(or a piece of holiday candy)

And at school there
was color in the
meat that covered
our bones

black, red, brown,
yellow, white and
combinations thereof
mixed and simmering
in mama’s pot at home

And our blood was
in those pots, mixed
with our memory

we sat at the table
and took it in and it
went down good and
we remembered who
we were and who our
neighbors were

And far from school
And my mother’s pots
those silver
and gold men stand
on the sidewalks like
statues, occasionally moving
to the beat coming from a

People toss
coins in their
coffee cans

and i watch and
wonder what color
lies under the silver
and gold

and they stand
still like

back at me
(c) 2015 Tony Robles


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