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.

memory: gammy’s seizure

February 18, 2012

when we were kids
you were my favorite cousin.

i’m not sure why.

not that i needed a reason;
but i had 41 other cousins
to choose from…
you made it easy to “pick.”

you never said no to me.
you thought it was just fine
that i wanted to play baseball
(you even taught me a few things),
and basketball… and football…
and any other sport that was reserved
for the boys.

we played all the time.
i loved sleepovers
with you -we slept on the same bed
(tu bocarriba’ y yo bocabajo’)
we were never bored.
we always found something
to do in the neighborhood,
in the house, even at church.

(you and i were grandma’s favorite, remember? ūüėČ

one of my favorite stories
with you, was the day those boys
were going to beat you up -for no reason,
except that you looked like Screech
from Saved by the Bell (and you did, but i
didn’t think that warranted a beating).

you threw yourself on the floor
and started acting you were having a seizure.
i was freakin’ out and the boys that were about
to beat you up, ran away.
you stopped and opened one eye
looked at me and said, “are they gone?”

and we just died laughing.
what a clever way to get out of a beating.

you have this amazing ability to make all of us laugh.

and that’s just it with you… you make all of us laugh even during the scary and sad times.

today, all of our cousins are my favorite.
but you hold the¬†memory of my childhood’s
ten-year-old laughter in your left hand.

thank you for always making me smile. for being you.

today, i celebrate the gift of your life Gamaliel Edgardo Alejandro Caraballo. thank you for shining your beautiful bright light. i wish you peace of heart, health, happiness and laughter in abundance.

i love you Gammy!

apartment 5e

February 10, 2012

on the day of your death
pack lightly

because the only thing
that goes with you
are memories and Love.

123 e. 112st
apartment 5e
Titi Isabel’s tight three bedroom apartment
fit Love, laughter, sixty-two people
and still had space leftover for healing.

i remember the sound of our young voices.
i can still smell Titi’s¬†sazon in the air.
i remember exactly the corner
where abuela always sat.

we cheered
when the families would come in
one-by-one we paraded
(macy’s had nothing on us).

her apartment decorated for christmas
at the beginning of october
(she still does it).

we were Home.

in Yanqui’s room
we’d sit and talk
teenage stories
that at the time
seemed so intense
and real -and secretive.

in the hallway
we played baseball
for 12 innings.

we’d have “showtime.”
dress up and go into the living room
to make aunts and uncles laugh
(abuela would smile the entire time)
as we imitated each of them at church
or doing something particular to each of them.
no one was saved from our wisecracks
-not even our parents.

we filled our bellies with food
digested it with laughter
and went home Loved and Loving.

if we could just hold a single moment…
if only we could just be still in that space for one more breath.

Writer’s Note: Titi ‘Sabel, gracias por ser y estar. Gracias por sacarme los piojos, por librarme de par’ de pelas de Mami, por cuidarnos, por estar presente… te quiero mucho y me quedo corta.