Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

Primer Curso de Lengua Española

I wish I had learned more español
From this crack-spined text, book-ended on my
Desk beside other language guides, color of
El infierno de crepúsculo: the burning sky at dusk, so I
Could read the great poemas españoles de
Dulce María Loynaz, liberator’s daughter, writer of
Anthems, hymnos.
But really I wish I had learned the most beautiful
Palabras from my wife’s tongue so I
Could live two lives in two families: the one we make
Together, miles inland from her Cuban father’s bed beneath
The Florida Straits, life of refugees in our coastal
Embassy walled by Palmetto palms, and the one her
Uncle, Tío
Builds with his stories of home: desastres nos han hecho
Amamos unos a otros, he seems to say as these Cubans and I
Sit together under la luna llena drinking ron de Havana y cevezas
A few words Tío has taught me, the way we are taught to leave
One chair empty for a drowned hermano beside Tío, who holds
My wife, his sobrina, beneath a full, pale arm, tattooed with distant
Mares, oceans.

Holmes_authorphotoConnor Holmes lives and writes in south Florida with his wife and two crazy dogs. He worked for several years as a crime reporter at his hometown daily newspaper before earning his MFA from the University of Tampa. You can connect with him on Facebook here.


Categories: Poetry

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1 reply

  1. A moving primer for those of us who’ve forgotten most of what we were supposed to learn in first year Spanish.

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