Martin Espada reads
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245 Wortman Avenue East New York, Brooklyn Forty years ago, I bled in this hallway. Half-light dimmed the brick like the angel of public housing. That night I called and listened at every door: In 1966, there was a war on television. Blood leaked on the floor like oil from the engine of me. Blood rushed through a crack in my scalp; blood foamed in both hands; blood ruined my shoes. The boy who fired the can off my head in the street pumped what blood he could into his fleeing legs. I banged on every door for help, spreading a plague of bloody fingerprints all the way home to apartment 14F. Forty years later, I stand in the hallway. The dim angel of public housing is too exhausted to welcome me. My hand presses against the door at apartment 14F like an octopus stuck to a aquarium glass; blood drums behind my ears. Listen to every door: There is a war on television.