Protege poet child, mother said. Eyes like saucers. Summer life in the valley where magic happened: theater in the attic, goats in the pasture, milking in the barn, proposals on hey, first taste of liquor.
Mario of the rock, the lake, the sea, and boat. We meet climbing barefoot above a waterfall where donkeys carry gringos up narrow paths over turquoise depths, agave, sage and aloe. We walk in the waves, make love in candlelight.
Toothpick body, empty eyes—the youngest soul from the "old continent." He speaks with his sailor molasses voice and the ladies go wild. He dances, but not with me. A pirate and school teacher—a combo made in hell.
She wandered the halls--mismatched socks, broken sandals, coat over nightgown-- relating visions of relatives long-lost. And keys, always the saga of missing keys. She offered us her open milk carton when the institution called.
We go way back to the slanted roof and Miles under the night sky; to his fling with roadside ribs; and his curses at buckets, brooms and water at dawn. We've traded turfs: palm-lined boulevards for dark medieval alleys——magnets, oil and water.
You were my anchor; a soft place. But in front of boys, you punched below the belt--dull pain that builds armor. I love you like a sister, our genes almost intertwined, our roots touching across the hemispheres.
Underneath the fear lies a vast ocean, a calm blanket over smoldering magma. Her hands make magic in the kitchen and arms revive the dying. But she's unaware of her own powers. The world awaits her awakening.
I still have the battle scars as proof you existed. And three photos. The size of your palm imprinted in mine, the feel of your ashes in my hand—ivory and turquoise—falling in to the gurgling river rushing on.
I found my freedom with you in these: the meat and drinks in the house by the cemetery, backpacking across the "old continent," your crazed-boy love letters about getting kicked out of school. The tears really came when you sang for me.
You'd get tangled up over nothing. Red-faced, spinning every which way. But you had good ideas and a heart. Did they not see? Whispering, they took the trembling you on a long walk down the springboard. And then they made you jump.
You split yourself to pieces for the kids, a raucous, and yes, blissful undertaking. But I fear it rubs raw the part of you that you should own. Will your small flame still be there, lit, ready to shine through when they're grown?
Talya. God's Dew. Maybe a muse in disguise. She saw into the future. Had a way of gliding through life, the way a celestial being would. Everything she touched turned to poetry, and, like an apple, I craved her.
His house was windows and blackberry bushes, his art black and white faces in crowns of trees. We drummed, never exchanging many words. Last time, I saw him with an entourage of women; a flock of wives wearing white turbans.
We meet at a jazz bar, then for two weeks hold hands, even when someone in a crowd tries to stone me, a mysterious moment we run away from together. He sends me perfumed letters and music. We dream of crossing borders to be together.
Not many eat the grapes in Bob's symmetrical yard, tended by the hired man with the canister of poison. They rot and fall. Bob walks to the park, counts the dogs, then returns to check on wife Rose and his manicured shrubs.
We sit, listening to "romanchick" music: a raspy sailor pining for luscious hips and thighs. Her car's an oasis—smell of cinnamon and spice, orthodox icons to guide us. I want her to hear: you're beautiful.
I am one of many, embarking on this experiment. The idea is to write a short piece of poetic prose about 365 people I have encountered in my life, one entry per day for a year, using approximately the number of words, matching my age. I've stopped, then resumed, but I am resolved to take this to the finish line.