Aye!
Yes, yes I do.
Ain’t it sad? Sad but true.
So what we gonna,
what we gonna do?

© paz

shit in water

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I stand barefoot on the stone.
Blue and brown ocean in front of me,
brown like my eyes, like my skin,
brown and blue like my latin blood
before it surfaces, before it floods
from its tunnel–a changeling, I stand.

My feet are soft like a child’s;
they are not calloused like my
young heart. I’ve lived so many
lives with it, this young heart.

These feet with their skeleton
butterfly shoes of a skater set
beside, ha, a skater that cannot run
but has gotten so far. These feet,
these shoes know the woes of an old man.

My father stands beside me by the
sand dunes, his curls like clouds.
He whispers something my old ears
cannot catch–words, slippery fish thrown out.
I wonder what it was but I need
not ask. He knows I know.

Old man knew what living without meant.
His closed hazel eyes, his little asthma
chest wrapped in a potato sack, sleeping
next to his mother. And I wonder if
the assumptions we make bear the fruit of

our fathers. Assumptions made are the
leather straps that wrap and tug us blind;
that leathery skin, our tongues
lash out from history’s hungry hunts.
I wonder if I stand here long enough,

will I make a lasting print,
a dent on this solid rock?
These were the fragments, the embers
remembered from March to September.
I look at my father and wonder,

marvel at my fractured heritage.

© Paz

Because

for T.H.L. because he knew me so well

Because the dead don’t
wake in a rage,
two silky bones,
chalky fingers
calmly linger
and ask for more.
“Two more please.”
As if Consuelo needs
another drink.

Because the dead
don’t wake with hunger,
two bandit mice
scurry down the table
filled with fruit and
the drops left of
Consuelo’s
Modelo.

Because he had wanted
to savor the dreams
of a well dressed man,
they migrated
from country to city
and adapted to
ambitious conditions
of this land.

Because the uncertainties
fogged them,
they built a meager home.
What once were two
heavy cheeks
are now
fleshless visages
that dart
melancholy.

Because they have drank
each other bloodless,
his spirit wafts now
beyond flasks and cantinas
still singing, echoing
“My love’s consumed
like a cigarette”.
So goes the cliché.

Because he is now
a nameless man,
a busker with
a guitar in hand,
he serenades her with his
drudging charade.

Because the dead don’t
have trouble sleeping,
and
“Because,” his stony jaw exudes
“women were the death of me,
there’s something
liberating
this death brings”.

© Paz

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Today’s prompt: an ekphrastic/ekphrasis poem, which is a “dramatic description of a visual work of art.”

Today also marked a month and a day since I found out about L’s death. I’m sure he’d laugh/is laughing at the dark humor I tried to get in this one–after all, it’s for him. Oh, and the poem is based on a painting he owned (I have no idea who has it now) but I took a picture of it the day I hung out with him during the Superbowl, and though I hadn’t wanted to look at those pictures, I will upload the picture of the painting that goes with this poem tomorrow. It’ll make more sense when you see the painting. Maybe I’ll catch up on yesterday’s Earth Day poem too.

These last two were difficult to get through. Whew.

But the fact that you guys are actually reading them encourages me, really.

Xxx