THE FIRST LETTER
Friday he intended to write and curse such ruthless spring. Saturday to reproach you the pain dragging him around since such a cruel spring. Monday he wanted to show off and pretend he had erased the iron mark you left him with since such faraway spring. Thursday he wanted to write to beg you for another spring. At the end, he had no choice but to write to thank you for that one spring.
He confessed that the left-hand side of his bed still has the rights registered to your name. His sheets are not yet used to your breasts’ absence. He dreams of you and wakes up to the aroma of your back penetrated into his fingertips, searching your hips, whispering your name, with his lips turned into a boiler and the tips of your hair brushing his shoulders. He shared with me his most recent poems and it is obvious, he screams it out loud, “he never again wrote another poem without inspiration from your belly. He will never again read a novel without crossing your east borders”. Often, while he drank tea (should I remind you that you took away his coffee addiction?), he crashes into the delight of seeing you in the living room on your tiptoes, sometimes wearing an evening dress, sometimes just a sleeveless shirt.
Just recently, like many other times, I found him wandering around the park, shinning some memories, counting stars, with his radio parked at the boleros station, stuffing the piggy bank with tears, in a vain attempt to get out of his sewer, and I realized that he never was and will probably never be able to get over you. He continues to be raw; you took him away from the mountain, but the mountain was never taken away from him. He is still the same dreamer; dreaming of both of you in your honeymoon, holding hands, in Switzerland. The same road-runner; he can’t stay still, not even at Sunday mass. If anything he is now more unstable; comfortable with collecting every Tuesday’s rent, and whatever is left (if any), he invests it in some of the works of “maestro Garcia Marquez.”
If you saw him! Every year evading spring.
Demanding explanations from your photo on the fridge.
Oh God, if you saw him! In his bed, he was never again the host.
Every March 31st, waiting for you at the same train station.
Only if you saw him! Wandering by the bridge or by the corridor.
Lying to people and pretending to be doing much better.
If you saw him! In the kitchen’s corner, hooked to the home phone, hoping that the very next one will be yours, answering every last creditor’s call.
As a weird thing, after you, he did not get used to living within himself. He is a fugitive of his own soul. Per his own words: He is not sure what he misses the most, your anger, your smile or your cravings. Your absence left him a sour taste; it isolated him in a Calvary.
Well, I must say bye now, please forgive me if I have written more than I should. Also please forgive me for not knowing how to help him put the past in the forgotten. But to be honest, even if I had tried, I do not think I could have. If one day you collide with the desire to send him any type of correspondence, he is still the most miserable resident of that little town… In case you have forgotten, his address: No. 13, Pain Street, off Lonely Road.
Adjacent find a copy of his latest writings.
AFTER YOUR DEPARTURE
If you were only aware of my condition after your departure?
My future turned off and my dreams have frozen,
My soul is three meters underground and a ton of stones on top.
Obviously, before your departure, to have you discuss my factory defects
Was harder than learning an Asian dialect.
It wasn’t until after your departure
That I ran into them in every corner.
Some had already been crucified,
I even ran into them at a funeral,
And every time I looked into a mirror.
To make matters worse,
I learned to analyze them so deeply,
Just like I once analyzed our very first kiss.
After your departure
My flaws came out of the shadows
In a stampede,
They marched like a troop,
Singing a national anthem out of my defeat.
And my virtues
Found themselves filing for bankruptcy.
After your departure
I found myself again and again
Trying to avoid my old age
By reading my life’s map, upside down.
After your departure
I crashed into a ton of hidden wounds,
And into the idiot I always ignored, full of fears I never overcome.
FOR YOU I CAN
I can pack a volcano in full eruption
And a flood in the same cardboard box.
I can capture piles of doubts
Order them to the shooting wall
And execute them with bullets made out of charcoal.
I can put the Sahara into an hourglass.
I can make dolphins sing to us at dinner time.
I can make the moon and sun
I can send angels to watch after you, daily.
I can order ships to navigate pastures.
I can write entire books about my feelings for you.
I can put an empire at my feet
And then bet it on a chess game
For a chance to grow old next to you.
I can order retirement for the word “perhaps.”
I can give you a snowfall once a month.
But tomorrow without you feels like total recklessness!
THE SECOND LETTER
The other day, I ran into him, he was courting clouds
He was convinced his clouds had put together a shape of your full figure. And he was fetching a ladder with enough altitude to jump, reach and hang from your hips.
Until then, I was convinced that time and distance were going to help him heal. That Sunday confessions were going to take away his guilt. To be honest, by now he was supposed to have Cupid’s arrow removed.
A whole new city and job was supposed to pay the bills and pave his way downhill.
Instead he ended up popping new pills, and prisoner of his own dungeon.
I am sorry, but my whole strategy failed. I couldn’t pull him off the train rail.
I guess we’d better get accustomed to the facts; he continues to dig his own grave.
Believe me! I tried! Those trips to Costa Rica, women and alcohol were supposed to bail him out. Even to his guru he became a pain. As far as love, he finds it worse than acid drops rain.
To be honest, by nowadays, he should have already replaced you, either with a decent prostitute or a whore stepford wife.
To say the least, I am worried about his current state of mind. He has abandoned his personal hygiene; he doesn’t shave anymore, and sometimes he smells like a trash can. Sometimes he stays at my house to keep me company, but he never waits for the sunrise.
Adjacent find a copy of his latest writings.
HOLDING ON TO YOU
The theories are many, but they could be summarized into two,
I am either a masochist or a terrible loser.
My chest’s right-hand side is an empty space
Completely filled with your absence.
My bed’s right hand side is a glacier
That melts on your crystalline water springs.
Since you left, every hour is a martyr
Empowered every minute by your image.
I’ve rescued a thousand and one reasons to forget you
But I’ve stumbled with three thousand and one to immortalize you.
I even miss the hair you used to leave on the bathroom floor.
My window curtains did not open again throughout the entire year, neither did my door.
I dedicated my faithfulness to an engagement with your memory, knowing that it hurts me.
I hung to the idea that you would come back here.
I find you in every romantic song
And sometimes organizing the bedroom.
I was never again the same individual.
I now live like a bird outside its nest.
I was never again able to worry about me.
I stayed in a cold hell.
To be honest, if it isn’t with you
I have no idea how I will ever face destiny.
I drink and smoke more than I should.
The conditions in which I live are dangerous.
If I ever failed you, please accept this as a formal forgiveness request.
You are the only female with whom I performed my best.
Living like this, so remotely from myself, is a torture. I am still carrying that immense love.
I live on a third floor, in a gross apartment,
I wish I could move to one that can fit all my remorse.
Here, the nights are cold, noons are even worse.
Behind on my rent for months, fault of a landlord in love.
A mountain made out of medical prescriptions.
A chest full of pregnant memories.
A pitcher of Cuban expresso for my insomnia.
A hookah for my chronic coughing.
A meter away, a beach I never go to.
And inches away, demons that apparently I have seen.
Old broken pictures that now are only crystal fragments,
Product of a few attempts against my vital signs.
Dreams that because I failed to pursue,
Now have break against me and refuse to follow.
A black and white television.
A math calculation that consumes my brain.
The answering machine full of voice messages
From the landlord,
Complaining I haven’t boned her for over a month.
A sand clock upside down.
A chest game with kings but without pawns.
As my next door neighbors, a Mormon couple,
How they have bothered me, those bastards!
No matter how I behave,
As an illustrious or illiterate, as a noble
Or as a player,
I always end up being the worst.
And just like the best of losers
I find no cure, but someone else to accredit my mistakes to.
An occasional poem missing a dedication.
Ten thousand fantasies have stolen my own story.
A diadem underneath the nightstand,
A radio parked at the boleros station.
My birthday just around the corner,
And the desires to wait for it are elusive.
THE THIRD LETTER
The very last time I ran into him, I found him at the coffee shop on the corner, taking a tea, admiring the rain running down the store’s walls. He asked “Do you remember us as menace kids, ringing the neighbor’s bells and taking off? Do you recall all the kites and street fights we lost?
Now, in a retroactive analysis, those were the first signs of a re-encounter with his soul. But I never imagined his next decision, once we were back at his “gross, third floor apartment,” he stated that he was tired of the hours sentenced, to waiting, like a mannequin, for you on his front window. Judged, sentenced and tortured by the war mines you left on his floors. He got tired of trying to erase you out of his mind with ladies of doubtful reputation. He got tired of that math calculation (a count of all and every morning kiss you owe him since that “damn January fifth”).
Although his decision was a drastic one and one of the saddest ones I had received since that one call he made me, at 4:07pm and he limited himself to state that “the sum between the two of you was no longer one.” It was also a relief, because on my previous visit to that same coffee shop, Juanita, the waitress mentioned that he not returned there since that one time he asked for a napkin and he wrote “I can’t forget the water spring born out of her breath, rests on her hips and ends at her blessed ankles.”
During all those years without you, all the pain in this world was tattooed on him, but also a key word – Acceptance. While he was packing his carry-on baggage, he told me “I have accepted that in this life, I may not be for her, and she may not be for me. But I accept this only for this life. Whenever I find the courage to look at myself in the mirror, for a little longer than a couple of seconds, I establish a deep conversation with God. And I implore Him to have some compassion over all my pain, over my shame, and I implore that in my next life He lifts this up. I ask that He allows me to find her a lot sooner and that I recognize her as my soul mate at a much earlier age. I ask Him to please allow me to make up for all the time wasted on this life.”
On our way to the train station he confessed that just the day before, he had given his resignation at the attorneys’ law firm and less than two hours later, he had given away everything, including his car. He said he would be helping his brother with the mechanic shop the very next day. He had a few great ideas to help improve the business.
Adjacent find a copy of his latest writings.
I wrote your one hundred thirty fifth poem,
“Glory with sanctuary on your lips” was the title.
I accomplished my one and only goal,
To leave my apartment wearing sandals
And to return on top of a comet.
Under a waning moon
I took a short walk in the park,
And as I melted into happiness,
I read you “One Hundred Years of Solitude,”
By maestro García Márquez.
On my way back to the apartment,
I purchased a cheap version of Mona Lisa
And I broke the code on her smile.
Tired of being too clumsy
And hesitating more than a wire spring,
I took a couple of psychology courses,
It turns out that love, without supporting factors,
Is just a sport, sponsored by an ideology.
Supported on a cardboard base, I built a sand castle,
I added a court jester, and to your resemblance, a queen,
To which as a crown, I gave her your diadem.
I took apart the kitchen,
I built a turbine,
I threw away the curtains,
I planted a tree in the bathtub,
I banged my neighbor,
Whose fine clientele
Has given her a divine reputation.
I took all my mediocre letters,
I turned them into paper airplanes,
And piloted them into a bonfire.
But also last night,
In honor of those mulatto hips of yours,
I wanted to have a statue sculptured,
But I opened my piggy bank,
Just to find no funds, not even for a postage stamp.
Although every night I beg it for calm The left side of my bed Still complains about your absence. Lately I owe explanations Even to the curtain Which delights in reminding me about the cigarettes That joined us that morning. As my guardian angel, a rosary As my bodyguard, virgin Mary (that one you left with me). I have a collection of ideas And they all involve you I have an art collection And it all involves you. I have a debt with the state I have an inheritance to claim, But I care more about the fact that I’ve never Welcomed the sun at your side. I carry a huge list of sins That restricts my entry to the church, I carry a ton of stuck dreams That keep me in inertia, But every time I see you I am released, I get out of this hole. This may be my home But I must admit You turned it into your empire With bases strategically Established in my pillows.
BEFORE THE LETTERS
The first time,
He wasn’t able to hide his clumsiness or absence of experience
He was more nervous than if the act had any audience.
The second time,
His back against the headboard, she was in between his legs,
While the tip of his thumbs circled her nipples,
He provided a thousand reasons,
As to why he wouldn’t return to those gates.
The third time,
She gave him a speech about the benefits of a windowless room,
To which she concluded stating “My sister occupies the adjacent one too.”
The fourth time,
Gently, he moved her hair to the side, opened an airport,
Landed his lips on two birth marks.
And explained why he had never before set foot on those types of business.
The fifth time,
Just as they had agreed, she was wearing a red dress,
To satisfy her desires, they danced a bolero,
Later, while he unbuttoned her dress,
He apologized for failing to visit more often.
The sixth time,
They became closer with “One Hundred Years of Solitude.”
They chained each other when she said “You have taken my heart’s virginity.”
The seventh time,
They agreed to disagree in reference to her smile,
In his humble opinion, hers opaque that of Mona Lisa.
The eighth time,
With all doubts washed out,
He confessed to her his immense love.
The ninth time,
He built an empire on her mulato hips.
The tenth time,
She educated him over the ongoing butterflies’ extinction,
And King Solomon’s 700 wives.
By the eleventh time, it was already their second January,
They listened, in its entirety!
Martin Luther King’s speech.
They also opened a hole in the wall
And hid a copy of the “Story Without An End”.
The twelfth time,
Staying away from exaggeration! She was the sword’s case and he was the sword!
They fucked beginning to end, without letting their mouth escape a word.
The thirteenth time,
He was victim of that same number’s reputation,
He entered an empty room, not even the mirror was left behind.
He left feeling not only like a client, but as the dumbest one.
The fourteenth time,
Still, there was no news about his queen,
The rumors were that she had told no one about her departure,
That they had to patch an open hole in the wall,
And that she had unplugged from the world.
The fifteenth and last time,
With his desires to survive turned upside down,
Out of his poor pockets,
He pulled an engagement ring,
Placed in the middle of the room,
And with his hands scratching both walls,
He dragged his immense love down the dark hall,
To never return to that brothel.
THE LAST LETTER
Years later some correspondence arrived, it had very few lines (the poet was never able to compose letters), and based on the date, it had been lost for a while. The yellow stains led me to believe it had been rained on and dried off multiple times. In it, he implored I go visit him. Due to the tone of it and the few lines, it appeared to be an emergency. The very next day I took the five thirty a.m. train.
I was received by his brother. It was noon in the middle of an infernal summer. He stated his brother was attending some feminine matters in the capital. He also warned me not to shut down whenever I see him. But refused to tell me anything else.
While we waited he told me that his brother, for about twenty one months now, was a whole new human being, a whole new soul, “You needed to see it to believe it” he concluded.
It bother me to see him work so hard under such a heartless sun, while my curiosity had made out of me a machine gun shooting question after question, which obviously, he refused to answer. So I changed the subject by offering my inept hands to help him.
After insisting a little bit, I convinced him that I was not that useless and he accepted my help. Minutes later, while he stepped away to grab a tool, I went underneath the car and came up with a semiprofessional opinion about what caused the damage to the axle. All of a sudden… a taxi stopped in front of the entrance and created a dust cloud, and although I did not see his face, I recognized his deep voice. Indeed, on his arms, he was holding the happiness that had taken him hostage twenty one months ago.
From underneath the car and with a twisted neck, in the middle of the dust cloud, and in the distance, I was able to see a pair of long white socks and shoes with deteriorated tips running into the shop. While the figure kept running and getting closer, I saw golden and curly hair dancing a tango with the air. It reached the front of the broken car, with hands resting on her knees, she bent down, turned her neck in the opposite direction from mine, looked straight into my eyes and in a divine voice, asked “Are you my dad’s best friend?”