Monday May 27

Virgil Suarez was born in Havana, Cuba in 1962. Since 1972 he has lived in the United States as a naturalized Citizen. He is the author of several works of fiction, has edited several anthologies, and is the author of eight collections of poetry, most recently 90 Miles: Selected & New, published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. He is currently at work on a new collection of poems titled Indigo. He lives and works in Florida, making Key Biscayne his home.




A Painter’s Glee


You arrive at the undisclosed location,
paintbrush, bucket and ladder in hand.
Ring the doorbell countless times--
there's someone inside for sure,
the lights come on and off. A naked
woman opens the door. She is delicious
in her nudity, but greets you naturally
as if you're some long lost lover arrived
to say, "the seas are rough, dear
and I got a Southerly wind to carry me
here." Her walls are raw, which clearly
is the promise of some new world.
Her moon-shined ass glows as she scurries
to brew some coffee. You enter the house
slowly, taking it all in one breath at a time.
Poem in Memory of Russell D. Franklyn of Eastman, Georgia
In the stillness of your heartbeat,
A mocking bird perches on the lip
Of the Koi pond, confuses a wisp
Of hyacinth for the cupped hands
Of the Lord calling you forth,
On this day of no wind or shadows,
A man like you who knew beauty
In sweet corn, okra, squash, black-eyed
Peas, who ate like a king most days,
Shared the glory of nourishment
With friends and strangers, like me,
Whose voice has no business
Of speaking this eulogy after the fact,
But the truth is that I ate of your food,
I felt the kindness of your hands,
The friendship in your eyes . . .
Who knows what roads lead us back
Through the thicket and trees
Of Eastman, Georgia or Las Villas,
Cuba? All I know is what I saw
In the sharing between friends
And family–this continuity of story
Through food, talk, the skill of hunting
Dogs. A man intent on living, loving.
In your passing now, you carry
Pocketfuls of seeds, go sprinkle them
In your long walk toward blue sky.
After the rains and so much memory,
They will sprout and bloom to welcome
us back into the red earth of Eastman.