Florida –   a sidewalk in front of a  strip mall with a pawn  shop, the coin laundry, and a convenience store.
  Benches are  outside the laundry and buckets with sand for ashtrays.  
A No Loitering sign in window of shop
Small boy on his knees pushing a small car on one of the benches,  
Man standing outside the pawn shop smoking a cigarette.
 Tattooed woman  sorting clothes that are in a wire cart.

Small  Boy-    (pushing his car along)

sing song voice

vrooooom    vroooooom         I’m goin’,     I’m goin’,     I’m goin’, to Miami   
I’m goin   I’m goin     I’m goin to Miami

I’m goin   I’m goin     I’m goin to Miami       vroooommm         vroooommm        varoooooom



Little man I been to Miami   ( pronounced Miam-ah)

I got children in Miam-ah — who don’t want to see they
daddy anymore

An’   I made so much money
at the dogs when they was babies

You never saw such a time we had

Me and they momma  gave them

 baby dolls,
 them yellow dump trucks
you boys love
to push,
 a little table & chairs,  
   a little tea set,
and a armful of 
 teddy bears.  
Those teddy bears 
protected my children at night.
They would take shifts 
standing on the balcony
 outside their room-
smoking handrolled cigarettes.


What happen to the dump trucks?  
Did the teddy bears
start a fire
with their cigarettes?    
That’s what happened at my house.


Little man, you know what a hurricane is?
A monster wind  that comes and blows
harder than anything you ever knew.
A wind that takes an ocean up over your head
and slings it all over your life
That wind blows in snakes and frogs and
any kind of meaness
it can
Umbrellas sail by    and
later people go by in
and sometimes they
 don’t even wave
at you neither.
You get so wet you don’t  
ever want a bath again.


You talking about  Hurricane  Andrew?
You know who he was , don’t you?
Know he aimed to put
out the fires in people’s dreams ?
Dreams of school girls who try to light an oven and catch
their hair on fire.
 The girl in my dream  crawled all the way
in an oven.
Dreams of love letters
burning up
See  these blue letters on my legs
next to  the  dragons ?
After I burned all his letters,
My old man put them letters back  on me  
Dreams of driving and
your brake foot going right to
the floor      
The dream you have that ends with you tumblin
down that
long James Dean cliff
and at the bottom——
Dreams of
getting my
kids back.


Aahhh.   I wasn’t in Miam-ah for Hurricane Andrew
That man had nothin on
our bitch Katrina in New Orleans
( pronounces  Naw Leens)
She put out the fire I had in my heart
and the dreams I had in my mind
That woman sweeped up my life
with a flood
of nasty water.
I been too wet to
ever go back to Miam-ah.
Boy–   (Standing up and beginning to walk away)
Ahhhh– You old people you wear me out
Can’t even keep your up with your children   and
their dump   trucks and teddy bears.
My granddaddy wouldn’t   even bother to
sweep up