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'ode to the beating heart' by poet Alexiz Angel Romero

Alexiz Angel Romero (they/she) is a first-gen Latine poet alchemist from Oxnard, California, now residing in San Pancho on occupied Ramaytush Ohlone land. Alexiz’s works center on the experiences she has faced as a queer person of color, transness, innocence, rawness, and passerby tales of hustling and struggle. They have been a recipient of the Poetry Center’s New Voice Poetry Award in 2022 at San Francisco State University, where they are currently pursuing their degree in Chemistry. Eventually, they will be the first to make a time bomb.

ode to the beating heart

for Larry “Bucket Man” Hunt

Market street will never be the same

Without the sound of your beating heart

The rhythm you provided in your vibrant

Drumming of buckets and cowbells

Filling the gaps between the conundrum of

Automobiles & pedestrians

Hustling and bustling

In the nuances of their nine-to-five job

When the tourists come, your bangin’ is the first thing they see

Your pulse is the first thing they hear

And along with the smell of the city dogs cooking on the sides of the street

You smile a big smile

Cuz inside you may be hurtin’, hurtin’, hurtin’

But outside you’re happy

Cuz you make us happy

That smile is infectious

Like the grooves that make us move

You put a smile on our faces

To make us happy till we see another day

And letting us know to be strong

The city will never be the same

Without the sound of your beating heart