Virgil Suárez

( Tallahassee, Florida )

from BFR, Summer 2001


The Psalmist, After Johnny Cash's "Oh Bury Me Not"

What is found in a mote of dust afloat in a shaft
of light coming through an abandoned house's
broken window?  A cracked dirty floor, a woman

with her back turned to the door, my grandmother
perhaps, working on the evening's meal, a toad
in the cool, damp spot by where my grandfather

wiped his mud-caked boots by the door, a machete
blade rusted like this thought of a dying man, 
a pistol in his hands, the way my mother claims

my father's father went down, or Martí, Cuba's
martyred leader, a man with a weakness for pretty
women and poetry.  In the church of bliss, the book

closes itself against the ravages of a crow trapped
in fire.  Here is Jesus, man of earth and fire, water
for eyes.  In his bosom aches a heart, in his guitar

the history of how a man travels, never coming back
to where he started.  My father always claimed he wanted
to be buried back home.  How we all return? 

In black dust, a mote sifting free in the fading light.

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