Precario, Peligro

Precario seems almost
the same as peligro
though the first sounds slightly
more delicate than the latter,
so it is possible to imagine
a small glass vase on the window-
sill, and a cat padding through
the apartment— Not the metal
grates staring from each door
along the alley, not the chain
link fences or security
warning signs. As children
we used to dig for hours
in the gravel, roll an inner
tube down the deserted street.
No one thought it unwise that we
walked by ourselves to the corner
store to buy iced coconut candy
or tubes of plastic balloon.
No van with tinted windows
waited, engines idling,
at the end of the block
under a dangerous sky.

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