I Read a Poem, Ray

Lala Cruz


Written by a stranger to you, for you.
So I’ll write one too.

It brings me to that hospital in Santa Fe
Yes, it’s your funny-fat-bloated-dying fingers that push me
over your bedside again today to clutch your hand
Santos around your head – rosaries clacking deep
breaths of the walking dead.
I forgo blind warnings from your brothers and sisters
Don’t touch him! It could seep out you know, around and around.

This can’t actually be your deathbed!
I don’t have one thing of yours but your secrets.

So we stand around your bed making a ring of dust – I hold out my newborn son, know you can feel this light and yet you are gone that day.
They said that when we left you cried tears out of your eyes
closed tightly against the living pull on you.

You finally know I missed those calls,
when Vicki called too late and said you were sick,
how the fuck did I know you were dying?
That fucking spider bite made it all worse

(never told me you were SICK, bitch,
thought you would be longer here with me)
but there you are.

I just picked you up on the winding sun of highway 84
rolling up to Rio Chama in a castle of redrock—we did
it a million times, that winded path,
you have your beer in your pack and one between your skinny knees and I drive and we pass smoke and dream of boys.


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