My fundamental and elemental ones

My fundamental and elemental ones
Present and gone now forever

This Gordon and this Dan
This Scott and this Gigi
This Sandy
This Milton and Moe
This Manolo
Roque and Carlos
This Andy
This Ben, this Phuc
This Paul, Joel and Grace
This Jim and this Gladys
This Irving and Sylvia
This Ruth
This Fran

These rudiments, quintessences
They went and took
Early retirement

Se los llevรณ La Calaca

They bought
La Flaca's
Permanent vacation package

They had too little and enough
They dirtied their hands with the stuff
Of the world

Present and gone now forever

They barricaded themselves behind their foreheads
Opened their hearts
Offered their jugulars to the wolf

Present and gone now forever

They and their ferocious dreams of betterment

Present and gone now forever

They were the golden ones
Who lived forward and understood backward
Who stood up
Stepped right up

Each a material fact of immaterial energy
Particle and wave
In the improbable world

Present and gone now forever

Oh how they squeaked and they howled
They grunted
They sang their beating hearts out
Couldn’t stop laughing or crying

Perforated and flayed
By the world

Each of them
These vessels of oh and ooo
Of ugh and duh and huh

Each had the honor of whispering
In the pomegranate orchard of midnight
Each bathed in the waterfall of things
Each made noise and had secrets
Each made music and trouble

Present and gone now forever

Each with birth and expiration dates
Off-label uses
Dying to live
Hanging on for dear life

They burned their fingers on the sun
Charred minute hands signaling through the smoke

My beautiful and rowdy friends

They lost and found their keys
And then they threw themselves away

They who were my explanation of life

These newborns
These clowns and rulers
These hummingbirds

They slipped out of the house
Before dawn
While we were sleeping
They drove alone to their appointments with pain

Enough of the respirator and the feeding tube of the world!

They broke with the caste system
Refused hush money
Ran away to join the circus of their own lives
Built a house of dignity out of water and breath
Bought La Flaca’s permanent vacation package
Laughing at the law of gravity

Present and gone now forever

They were bad just enough
Their goodness was good and good enough

Their names
Cleared now by these words
Of all wrongdoing

Gone now and present forever

                                                            -- New York, December 3, 2010

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Many thanks.