beacon street

April 5, 2012

it was no wonder,
you wonder filled spirit,
that you lived on beacon street.

we met august 2008
i was moving in.
i knocked on your door
and when you opened
your smile lit up
that small hallway.

we became friends instantly.
like we had known each other
for years. sharing laughter.
food. company. stories.
we learned about each other.
you talked about your love
for the arts. started painting again.
writing…

the beagle loved you too.
she looked forward to your everyday visits
with a spoonful of yogurt that had her
tail waggin’ so fast, we thought it would fall off.

the more you shared your life with me,
the more awestruck i became.
life dealt you such shitty hands
but you played the game.
and you did it well Ass ūüėČ

i know your light will shine in my life
all the days i have left. your wonder
will live on.

thank you for shining your light.
thank you for sharing your life. 

rest now my friend. rest.

will & testament

January 12, 2012

on may 3, 1993
abuela had her homecoming.
at the time of her death,
eight of her eleven children
were alive.

they headed
to her one bedroom
apartment on the 4th floor
of 1295 amsterdam ave.

her silver spoon collection
had airline logos. so did
some of her plates.

she had seventeen jars
filled with buttons.
she fastened love
on coats, and hats, and gloves
that kept us warm.

each of her daughters
kept one of her batas.
my mother kept a red wool
bandana she wore around
her head all-winter.

one of my uncles
just wanted the cassette tapes
where she recorded herself
singing church music.

they found ten dollar bills
wrapped in napkins in all sorts of places:
in pockets, in books, in vases.
almost a thousand dollars…
it was used to fly her body
to Puerto Rico.

my mother kept a hairbrush
(hairs included). the siblings split
up photo albums. her rocking chair
was the most coveted item…
her ‚Äúfavorite‚ÄĚ son got to keep that.

trinkets. figurines. plants.
pots. pans. mugs. furniture.
they all wanted something
tangible to hold on to…

when our parents die
there are no assets to discuss.
no lawyer who will ask
to sign the dotted line.

our inheritance is debt.
the heirlooms
are untangibles:

memories. lessons. Love.

i’ve forgotten the sound
of my grandmother’s voice.
‘cept i remember the raspiness
of it like an old friend.

i remember her words.
no matter how harsh their truth,
her advice was always gentle.
i cannot forget her faith,
it was unshakeable.

if it took a while to see better days,
my grandmother created them
through laughter.

she had a noncupative
will & testament:

her will was that we remain a close family.
her testament was the way she lived her life:
humble. honest. faithFULL.

may i always honor her will and may my life be an extension of her testament.