Prayer as Don Omar

Malcolm Friend


Padre nuestro,
                        que estás en el cielo,
            santificado sea tu nombre,

                                    venga un dembow—
                        fantasma, echo of Santurce tin houses
                                                banged into existence,

            castaway music.
Every night shouts and bullets
                        bouncing off of bodies.

                                                Bodies bouncing off of houses,
                                    off each other, off the waves
                                                            and this is what a guaya

            sounds like. Beach as soundboard.
Breakage of sand
                       to 3 + 3 + 2 snare.

                                                Grain and drip bien pegao.
                                    When a barrio drops the bassline
                                                and lights itself like a vela,

            a rezo. Un rosario por los prietos.
Took their chains and built
                        those Santurce tin houses.

                                                Took the leftover scrap metal
                                    and tricked it out into looped blin blin.
                                                            Listen to the slide of their feet

                        as they dance on the ocean's breeze.
                                    Put all their weight onto the humidity
until the dembow finally drops.