A Poetic Foundation

 

The poetic foundation of a new novel…

 

 

I

 

That one embrace,

Arms clasped

Fingers entwined;

That lasts lifetimes.

 

Mine’s and yours.

If only I knew it then.

 

II

 

I would forsake the tides of history

To guarantee your happiness:

And I will.

But quickly, before the clouds

Veil the sun of my pride

And I change my mind.

 

III

 

When it’s time for you to bloom,

Will I recall you as a seedling

Or as the weed you’re fated to be?

 

IV

 

There must have been

The shadow of love

–  A glimmer, a whisper, a chime –

To make me forsake

The fertile Caribbean winds

For your dry, baby’s cry.

 

So long as I love you

I must sacrifice my star-bound dreams.

So long as I love you

I’ll know the pain of wasted lives.

 

V

 

“Life is a dream.”

But whose?

Mine or my sacrifice’s?

 

VI

 

Cowardice made me its heir

And bestowed me with

Everything anyone could ever want.

 

Do you know what it’s like,

Do you know the ground zero of regret,

To have what you want

And not be proud of it?

 

VII

 

To acquire the purpose of old age

I sacrificed the happiness of youth.

 

Life incessantly repeats itself, beautifully,

And with every replay, something is lost,

Until.

 

VIII

 

The free music along the waterfront,

A song for Che and a toast to Marti.

La Negra Tomasa segways

Into the Chan Chan

As a cigar becomes a factory,

Becomes a way of life.

 

There is nothing else to do

Because that’s all you need.

To want anything else

Is super-human ambition.

 

Until you see that

– And I know, hija, only you can –

I cannot want you the way I want

“The free music along…”

 

And what is the purpose

In love without pride?

Embrace me one more time

Maybe my spine will tingle

Just as it does when

“La Negra Tomasa segways

Into the Chan Chan.”

 

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