Nancy Mercado

Nancy Mercado recorded audio narration on July 24, 2022, at her Upper West Side apartment in New York City.

for Miguel Algarín

The crescent moon inside a perfect blue sky

an orange horizon just beyond in my mind 

explode when I hear

Hold on 

it’s the hospital...

and in my numbed state I comforted others

in my numb state I go to sleep wondering 

when you’ll appear

take me to the ballet

out to dinner

to a fine French bistro

Buy me trinkets from a vintage thrift store

walk the length of Manhattan with me

sit in old neighborhood bars for hours . . .

For 40 years you held my hand on this planet

tell me

How do I thank you?

Nancy Mercado is the recipient of the American Book Award for Lifetime Achievement presented by the Before Columbus Foundation. She was named one of 200 living individuals who best embody the work and spirit of Frederick Douglass on the occasion of his bicentennial by The Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives and the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. Most recently her critique of Broadway’s West Side Story appears in Bigotry on Broadway (Baraka Books). In addition, she has served as guest editor for a special edition of KONCH e/Magazine, was the editor of the first Nuyorican Women Writers Anthology published in Voices e/Magazine, and authored It Concerns the Madness (a poetry collection), Las Tres Hermanas (a children’s coloring book), and edited if the world were mine (a YA anthology). A celebrated member of the Puerto Rican literary movement, she has also presented her work at various institutions and venues. For more information go to www.nancy-mercado.com.