Konch Magazine - Miami

MIAMI: A MURAL
 
 
Miami sits
in the far southeast corner
of the United States
In the night
the reds, purples, and blues
of the city
sparkle on the black waters
of Biscayne Bay
 
The sun shines
over the downtown buildings
while rain clouds
part over Ocean Drive
and the beach
after a rapid deluge
Tourists have lunch
underneath the logo awnings
of the colorful Art Deco hotels
including the Carlyle
designed in 1939
by Richard Kiehnel
and John Elliot
and renovated into
nineteen private luxury condos
with full kitchens,
Jacuzzi tub/showers,
washer/dryers
and cable
and high speed internet access
Several films
including the 1996 film “The Birdcage”
with Robin Williams were filmed there
The muggy air smells fresh
from the rains
 
Unlike the Bay Area
people come out
on a stormy Wednesday evening
in September
to hear you read
at Books&Books
in the suburb of Coral Gables
you can even get Haitian writer
Edwidge Danticat
to come
 
Down the street
from the Mutiny Hotel
in the Coconut Grove neighborhood
with two-bedroom suites
that look out over the Bay
and an oval shaped swimming pool
is a Gap,
a CVS Pharmacy
and a police horse
tied to a tree
in the heat and humidity
A bit of the old South
plopped down
in the middle of a city
with the rhythm of the Marimba
 
On Collins Avenue
there is a small gym
where people
run on the treadmill,
ride bikes and use the stair master
The lights in the room
are pink and blue
like the Virgin America cabin lights
 
On a South Beach
residential neighborhood
called Palm Island
separated by the MacArthur Causeway
a large fountain surrounded
by Royal and Coconut palm trees
sits in the center of large mansions
The 1996 film “Blood and Wine”
with Jennifer Lopez
has a scene located there
 
In South Pointe Park
sits Smith & Wollensky Restaurant
where Gloria Esteban’s husband, Emilio
hangs out with his friends
on a Wednesday afternoon
and where his large, black van is parked
Their restaurant
Bongos Cuban Café
has the most expensive
rice and beans in the country
 
Older men
and their younger girlfriends dine
at Smith & Wollensky
on a Sunday evening
From the park you can see
ships filled with goods
sailing into The Government Cut Canal
that runs from the Atlantic Ocean
to the bay
and the busy downtown skyline
filled with new condos
lit up in blues, greens, and golden browns
like 1900 Biscayne Bay
with a fish tank in the ceiling,
and balcony that overlooks the bay
and The Viceroy Icon Brickell
with Eastern Island “Idol” Heads
as building supports
 
After a Miami Heat basketball game
at the American Airlines Arena
thousands of fans fill the streets
after watching LeBron James, Dwayne Wade
and Chris Bosh do the Alley-oops, slam dunks
and do brilliantly at the perimeters
 
On a quiet side street off of NE Second Avenue
between the Hilton Miami Downtown
and Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus
lay homeless people, mostly Black men
sleeping in tents,
their carts filled with
recycled soda cans and bottles,
blankets,and clothes
 
At Tap Tap Haitian Restaurant
on 5th Street in South Beach
Murals cover the many walls
There is one of Erzulie
the Haitian Iwa
of love, beauty, jewelry,
dancing, luxury and flowers
 
 
At the Hilton Miami Downtown
a crowd of people fill the ballroom
for a gala
The men come in black tie
The women wear ball gowns
or short dresses
One woman wears a long, purple gown
The top barely covers her large breasts
They look like they are about to pop out
Her arm is wrapped around her boyfriend
A group of tall, thin girls get out of a limo
wearing black dresses that barely cover the thigh
An older blonde woman gets off of the elevator
with her husband
She has so much make up on
she looks like the Bride of Chucky
She is wearing a backless
wine colored gown
 
In Miami
English is a Second Language
People say “Hòla”
instead of “Hello”