AFTER AFTER: A LONGING
After after, is there anything or anyone
left to sing the hammock songs? After after,
will you still be there waiting, a warm blanket
in your hands, to throw the flannel on my lap,
lest I drool myself to a sundown slumber
and promptly forget it gets cold in the winter?
Aiee, amor mio, despues de nuestros amores,
when love is gone, after all the countless days,
where shall we find that place called after?
If it is lost, too, will there always be another?
Will this longing for the warmth of a gentle caress,
when nights and beds are cold, find its answer?
Will it be a knowing touch on my back after after?
Tomorrow, I will walk through an abandoned garden in the rain:
I will tilt my face to some grey sky like an agape earthen jar, catch
myself some nourishing rain. Must I, on my gnarled knees, beg
for these hurts to set me free? My hummingbirds will fly off
leaving me this mansion of joy, but oh, a finite hint of eternity.
Sometime soon, I must frolic in this uncertain weather, dash
through this shower of grace, sate my parched throat in the rain,
drink myself deliriously happy. But after after, will you be there?
--- ALBERT B. CASUGA