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Jose Padua: The Angel Of 11th Street


At the end of another drunken week

of beer and whiskey and wine

I walked home

and on the street I met a woman

who bummed a cigarette from me

and offered a piece of candy in return.

She told me she was heading

to 11th Street by St. Mark’s Church

to make money by giving guys blow jobs.

She was young and beautiful and spoke

in tones of the brightest white light,

and I wished her luck, said goodbye

and walked away.


And I’ve seen people hit by cars

and people OD’ing on the street

as crowds gathered to watch,

and I’ve seen people staring

into space at nothing

because there was nothing left to see

that didn’t make them sad or mad or weary,

and I’ve seen men and women

step from the doorways of buildings

where their friends or lovers live,

each parting a necessary loss

when the only thing left to be

is alone.


And as the days go by

what you remember most

is the distance between things,

the endings of great moments and pleasures,

and as you walk

in the sharp eye of the midday sun

or beneath the cum-colored shining

of a crescent moon

the weather is always

the same.


And tonight

The Angel Of 11th Street

is standing on a corner

selling blow jobs and buying candy

to keep the devil at arms’ length

and heaven close to the steady beating

of her untainted heart.

–Jose Padua


Padua, angel

Photo by Jose Padua

2 comments on “Jose Padua: The Angel Of 11th Street

  1. sarasallydavis
    October 10, 2014

    As I always find in his work, there is so much depth, tension, compassion in beauty and power of words. “what you remember most is the distance between things.” raw and honest portraits. And what I love most is the entire last stanza, especially “her untainted heart.”


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This entry was posted on October 10, 2014 by in Poetry and tagged , , , , , .

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