Poetry: Sandra Cisneros (via Junot Diaz)

One Last Poem For Richard

December 24th and we’re through again.
This time for good I know because I didn’t
throw you out — and anyway we waved.
No shoes. No angry doors.
We folded clothes and went
our separate ways.
You left behind that flannel shirt
of yours I liked but remembered to take
your toothbrush. Where are you tonight?

Richard, it’s Christmas Eve again
and old ghosts come back home.
I’m sitting by the Christmas tree
wondering where did we go wrong.

Okay, we didn’t work, and all
memories to tell you the truth aren’t good.
But sometimes there were good times.
Love was good. I loved your crooked sleep
beside me and never dreamed afraid.

There should be stars for great wars
like ours. There ought to be awards
and plenty of champagne for the survivors.

After all the years of degradations,
the several holidays of failure,
there should be something
to commemorate the pain.

Someday we’ll forget that great Brazil disaster.
Till then, Richard, I wish you well.
I wish you love affairs and plenty of hot water,
and women kinder than I treated you.
I forget the reason, but I loved you once,
remember?

Maybe in this season, drunk
and sentimental, I’m willing to admit
a part of me, crazed and kamikaze,
ripe for anarchy, loves still.

–Sandra Cisneros, 2013

***

I discovered the poetry of Sandra Cisneros as I opened Junot Diaz’ masterpiece This is How You Lose Her, where he has excerpted, or perhaps offered a dub mix rendition of the poem above, as follows:

Okay, we didn’t work, and all
memories to tell you the truth aren’t good.
But sometimes there were good times.
Love was good. I loved your crooked sleep
beside me and never dreamed afraid.

There should be stars for great wars
like ours.

**

(I love both versions, long and short, probably equally, maybe with a slight preference for the shorter one.)

Comments

  1. Erin Stringer says:

    I read an excerpt in Junot Diaz’s book, then reread it. It is one of the most amazing poems I’ve ever read, I love it so much.

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