(In response to: “I Like for You to be Still” by Pablo Neruda.)
I like for you to be still
but only if you can be
still beside me
under a palm tree
beneath my rainbow
inside my marrow
which craves the rhythm
of your clasping body.
Today I look into your eyes
they are dry—
not glistening like yesterday
nor whispering of loneliness—
just neutral, as you breathe out
melancholy and inhale bliss.
I speak to your silence
and crave to have you inside me.
(In response to: “XVII I do not love you…” by Pablo Neruda)
Peeling an apple in one piece,
I think of our friendship unfolding.
At the cafe, our eyes married right there.
Such impatient anticipation.
Was this desire one-sided?
I was curious about so much—
would you fulfill my fantasies,
or walk away, indifferent to my gaze?
The second time revealed more.
I studied your approach—
what you wore, what you said.
Then your decision: where to plant
that first kiss, hunting for the best
private spot until our next encounter.
For you would return, after all.
What Life Reminds Us
Tonight I think of how death
teaches us how to live—and of images
woven in distant graveyards
names and accomplishments scribbled
on illegible tombstones—a hint to stop
and enjoy life’s simple pleasures.
Perhaps this a reminder
left behind by dead philosophers
like Socrates, who professed that death
has no place in our lives.
By my bed sits my Buddhist book
its earmarked pages saying there is no end,
and praising the power of living.
Instead, it describes the power
of living in the present moment:
gears fixed in slow motion,
like time spent setting a dinner table,
watering flowers, walking in our gardens
or engaging in quiet meditations.
I ache with melancholy today
as my favorite aunt is put to rest
and leaves no legacy.
Life continues to remind me
to stop and feel the joy,
over and over,
of giving myself permission to live.
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