Siempre te recordaremos, T. G. Lee


So, where to begin?
I suppose at the beginning, his first line;
La poesia es blanco
to which, I like to think you’d have responded,
“No, mi vecino..mi amigo.. that’s just the vanilla
meringue on the delicious suspiro limeño we are sharing”
and then you’d perhaps flash those radiant white teeth towards his very confused gaze.

La poesia es blanco..
obviously he’d never seen the Surfing Madonna, I smile.

We were going to recite Huidobro’s Relativity of Spring together;
you en espanol, and myself the English translation.
We chose April, for national poetry month.
But you couldn’t make it to the reading that month, nor the next two..
due to health setbacks, you said.

Dolores was no longer a hurricane, downgraded
to a tropical storm by the time she lashed the county
with a record inch of rain in the driest July ever;
everyone was stunned as news spread of your passing that watery weekend.
Marcy wrote to say how she had conversed with you
only weeks earlier at the Nepal earthquake relief fundraiser.

Dolores.. a lovely Latin name befitting the unexpected passing of a fellow pluviophile.
You once wrote me “Llovamos poemas de esperanza y frescura……
Let’s rain poems of hope and coolness”.
You always smiled a little seductively when you spoke to us of rain,
the same sly grin as when you’d read to us your poems about your passion for dance.

But back to Neruda, where he continues
Nunca recordaremos haber muerte,
we will never have any memory of dying.

Many came out that wet afternoon, even Edith with whom I hadn’t crossed paths in years,
to gather in tribute to you beside a makeshift altar of small luminarias,
orchids and a picture of you & your Madonna of Encinitas.
The only thing you remember is your life.

Perhaps Marcy and I will perform the Huidobro poem in your memory each April now;
we’ll hope to shower the room in a sigh of stars & rainbows,
to push up an ecstatic wave of sun-drenched parasols & ocean green ferns for you.

So, where to end?
I guess at the ending, where he writes, in his last line
In the full light of day, I walk in shade.
Yes.. of course.
You’re still here with us all, beautiful lady;
we just can’t see you.. in the shade like you are.