Recherche Du Temps Perdu

    MY poem today is a remembrance of lost times, father, mother, grandmother, grandfather. Are we any bigger than they were? Somehow, we always feel smaller. Somehow, we must rise from our pauper space.

    I thought it was the other way around:…
    When one is no longer there, he will be
    bigger than the space he occupied. I
    cannot begin to gather the memories
    grown rampant of those I have loved
    and lost, they will fill my days to the brim.

    How can I run with my father through
    those fields with a wayward kite? How
    can I sing those goodbye songs in my
    abuela’s tremulous voice? Will I keep
    in tempo with grandfather’s steps when
    I find myself walking up the winding
    stairwells, my little palms in his hands?
    Will I tell those tales of enchanted
    elves and flirting fairies as animatedly
    as grandmother Teodora, and hold
    my own grandchildren in thrall? How
    large a space must I have to grow with
    them while I keep this quiet watch over
    the rhythm of days as we bravely wait?
    I will not be able to fill these spaces you
    have carved yourselves when you were
    here—they overwhelm me with grandeur.
    How will I cope with the largeness of your
    presence now that you have gone from us?

    Like the lad who threw himself on the snow
    to create his winged likeness, I find my
    snow angel larger than I am achingly small
    engulfed by lingering memories of your
    abiding love and immeasurable greatness.




    * * *

    His Love Affair (With Himself)

    For all those who have learned to love themselves

    Sit. Feast on your life.
    – Derek Walcott “Love After Love”

    Although this invitation will prolong our wait
    in the cold antechambers that we surround
    ourselves with, we will cautiously accept it.

    Why not? Sitting here, staring at a kaleidoscope
    of the many faces we have constructed to meet
    other faces, I celebrate a love affair with myself.

    Who else will do that for me? There were lovers,
    and there were lovers, but they held on to their
    own chisels to pare and scrape their own image

    of what they could have and hold not unlike
    a wild-eyed Pygmalion sculpting flesh onto his one
    desire, a Galatea of his rawest wants and dreams.
    I will sit and wait for the feast of all feasts
    to be served on my table, my head on a platter,
    my heart seasoning a bowl of hope, a soupcon

    of little mercies that lovers often do: a salving
    of hurts, a troth of endless fealty, a promise
    that the image on the mirror is finally, only mine.

    * * *

    No Exit

    How often do you frequent the malls and exiting without some expensive and often unneeded commodity? Well, the advertisements say it was a buy—50-percent discount. A steal, you scream. And off you go. (The mall–closest look at Hell)

    Endless malls that have no exits
    should be our closest look at hell:
    too many nice-to-haves too little
    time, no cash nor credit cards—
    no unemployment cheques nor
    bank debits, only foreclosure notes.

    But what’s so nasty about Hades
    with air-conditioned corridors?
    That knock-off Louis Vitton purse,
    or that Burberry bag slaved over
    by starving waifs in Bangladesh,
    you can do without—but in this
    heat, in this beastly humid heat,
    why does it matter if there is No Exit
    from an endless mall air-cooled
    by the taxes paid from mortgaged
    homes that will soon become houses
    grabbed by money-lenders and realtors?

    Here, where lilac leaves hang limply
    at the end of a dead dry day, I dream
    of an endless mall that has no exit.
    Like that homeless tramp snoozing
    his hunger (or hangover) away near
    MacDonald’s, I hope I never wake up.

    * * *

    Sundown Rhythms on Holidays
    “Don’t you miss Marie, a wee bit? Don’t you?” She asks him. “Yup,” he answers quietly.

    1. Temps Perdu
    Her aches are different this time
    around: not the knees, head, neck,
    name it and she calls it heartaches.
    There was a time, there was a time,
    when sundowns were happy times.
    They would gather around like birds
    hopping on newly sprung rosebushes.
    A sundown curtain call. A day is done
    but not her day. She tiptoes into rooms
    turning lights off, picking up left toys,
    scraping stuck gums on study tables,
    checking how snug a lass is tucked in,
    a bar of a lullaby quickly hummed
    to hush the toddler back to slumber.
    2. Their Conversation
    Tonight, she silently asks him: Why?
    Why do they grow up and go away?
    Seek their own levels of living and joy,
    he promptly grumbles. Like we must,
    while we wait in the crannies of quiet
    corridors, find full quicksilver thrills
    because we have earned them. Come.
    Our bed looks so undisturbed, so neat,
    when we should really be romping on it,
    like those urgent times, lusty moments
    stolen away from worries we promptly
    forget as we gasp for air from frenzied
    embraces under warm sheets. Hold on
    she mutters: got to finish this program.
    I missed it again last night when you
    nagged me no end to visit Nirvana.
    Why did you grow old? He asks quietly.


    Please follow our commenting guidelines.

    Comments are closed.