don’t want marching saints no more

I don’t smoke anymore. I don’t pay attention anymore. I don’t do much anymore. Anymore matters not to anyone. It’s been about two weeks. There is a foggy dream pricking at my waking reality. There is a politeness as to not give away who I am, and who we are, and what we are not made of. Orion’s Belt has lost another Queen Sister. Look up, see? The castle shines less than it did about fourteen days ago.

Sitting next to me, he, young and professional talked to you about developing a plan for hope. Sitting next to me, your cracked yellowed fingers, stiff like frankincense resin, shuffled through your last official systematic memoir, but he and I didn’t know. Did you know? Or did you know you couldn’t go on? Your blue framed reading glasses made of plastic were spotty and needed a scrub. Your skin ashy and hair matted into a bun, those fingers searching for that someone who told you that you were fine so that we could tell you too

 We met on St. Valentine’s, you tried with all of your might on St. Habet-Deus and laid yourself to rest on St. Alvaro’s soiree. Yet, when the old timer hard core practicing apostles hailed St. Polycarp, I stood looking at the west atop the building’s nest with my back to your door sealed by the authorities of science and service.

the yellowing cranes

the riverbed is cool the cranes have a yellowish belly but are beautiful nevertheless there are bleached soda cans but the logos hang strong against the California sun i sit by the reeds and watch the Chinese couple dig in the mud for long lost jewels they explain the husband is originally from Kansas she says i watch on until pitch black leathery little birds with mean diamond tinged eyes and beaks yellow like egg yolks begin to crowd around catching tadpoles one stands on a mossy Takis bag on the trail bicycles travel north to south and vice versa i only see helmets from my shivering reeds somewhere by the train yard an old trash truck backfires and the mean little black birds lift up into the sky like a flamenco dancer’s skirt my eyes pause at the rim of Dodger stadium and out of nowhere my mind drags me to the summers eating sticky juicy watermelon slices with my sister as the grown ups drank howled and listened to the game on an old radio from their army days and now i wonder if they died knowing that some day i would be leisurely sitting by these LA River reeds sipping fancy tea watching treasure hunters and fancy bicycle helmets wiz by and are the yellowing cranes the souls of our lost boys from the Hanoi Hilton

Taino el de abajo

the room is sterile

free from any love germ

only the tiny beasts of whatever

perfect in nature are adored here

in this sterile cold dry room

my gut told me

“She passed.”

referring to the death of an aunt

i hardly knew

i don’t feel grief

not yet

and

as i explained to my-self

some people might never feel it

to mourn loss is difficult

to mourn loss of a loved one is hard

to mourn for and carry a heavy heart for an enemy

is tougher

i don’t feel such loss for the masculine things in life

as i do for the feminine

to have had a physical mother

never to have experienced an emotional mother

or spiritual mother

has been loss

yielding veils of survival

darning lies as i went along

because for this ride

you must be tough

to have had to rip my addiction demons

from me without a cowboy’s hickory stick

to bite on

while all of Murphy’s laws

chose to shred themselves

has left a raw gaping hole

in my crippled soul

yet there is a certain life-long journey

a chipping away of the spirit

the grief polishes

nearly to transparency and vulnerability

that fake shine as seen on t.v.

we can certainly fight

for all our lives

against this erosion

but we will not win

in my age

i can now see

the entirety of who Taino was

what he meant to me

i could not

in my youth

see that deeply yet

*dedicated to Jose Montoya POET

finally relieved

my sister later said
that when mother left
the tears on her velvet cheeks
were like lily petals
time has passed
on most days when
i notice myself in the mirror
memories of her voice and sorrow
crowds my day 
by eve’s time
sitting alone on the porch
some plump flying angel
will rustle up the honey suckle
and a vision of mother i can feel
quiet resting finally relieved