poems by Rena J. Mosteirin

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Friday, November 23, 2007


I gave you my beads because I had nothing better to give
when I asked you to marry me. More then a hundred times
a day I thought about Ganesh back then. I asked the wood beads what time it was. Daylight savings time fucked it up but it held my sins so my heart wouldn’t have to.
You live longer that way, Abuela says. Abuela answers my questions strangely,
half in Spanish and very embarrassed of her failing memory.
She calls me by my mother’s name. Oh Abuela, I say with a sigh, I can’t even tell time.

If you ever need luck darling, tell the beads around your neck
by pressing each bead hard till you feel your finger-hearts beating. I must have died
of starvation in a past life because nothing feels so good as being full. Even
when I am alone, I am full of your love. Throwing away an empty carton, I see how
the orange General Tso’s sauce makes rivers at the creases where the white cardboard
folds into itself. I walk in sweatpants and flip-flops. The dead leaves flatten
under my full feet in the New England nighttime. I have a love letter warm in my pocket
from you. I carry it with me everywhere. I stop and re-read
your letter under a streetlight. In this moment my life feels perfect, simple, complete.

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