I’ve known men, I swear,
Whose children tended toward honor.
Gringo men, with frozen hips,
Genetic enemies of tropical moves.
Well, maybe I lie. Probably they were
Really Latinos, holding the hand
Of a golden child on a tropical sidewalk.
A child, straining upward, so proud of her meaningless father.
What is it that goes wrong
Just north of here? What makes
The same child in northern version
So indifferent? So Jesus I don’t need you cold?
A few degrees of latitude and things go to hell.
When I die, I think, you’ll miss me
But the truth is to the north.
The truth is no, not, never, in this life.
I never got your approval, was never
Good enough. But you were, I insist.
There are geraniums above on the balconies
And heaven somewhere above those.
And there, maybe there, I will dance for you
Hips loosened as if by surgery. Heart open
As if I could fly to that iron-railed balcony
Or beyond. Or above. In some circular flight.
But meanwhile, I am tied to this dream of tropical life…