Ariel Francisco

Meditation On Happiness

I want to go through life 

with the joy of a bus driver 

riding through town in twilight, 

catching all the green lights, 

smiling softly as he hums along 

to the radio and drives right by 

all the bus stops, his display 

glowing a single gleeful 

orange word: GARAGE.


For The Woman Selling Roses On Miami Gardens Drive


I always see her on my drive home

at the light for the onramp to I-95,

one hand raised in the air, the petals


of her fingers spread out to show the price,

while the other hand holds

a bucket of roses to her chest, as if they bloomed


from her own body. And they are always

five dollars. On Monday, on Friday,

on the weekend, on Mother's Day, five dollars.


Always one hand fanned in the air,

always the roses clutched close to her heart,

holding them the way a red light holds traffic,


as though she doesn’t want to part with them

but knows that she must, knows that she carries 

happiness or forgiveness for someone 


she will never meet. Even on Valentine's Day,

when she could have charged more 

to those fools who waited until the last minute.


Still only five dollars. Still one hand

open in the air, as if in order for her to raise the price,

she would have to put the roses down.

Photo credit: Gesi Schilling

Photo credit: Gesi Schilling

Ariel Francisco is Miami poet currently completing his MFA at Florida International University.  He is also a former Poet in Decadence at Gramps Bar in Wynwood.  His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Jai-Alai Magazine, Portland Review, Print-Oriented Bastards, Sliver of Stone, Tupelo Quarterly, Washington Square Review, and elsewhere.

Posted on June 23, 2015 .