I become aware I am walking slightly hunched over,
not even in cold or threatened, hunched like the friend
I knew in his later days, though we didn’t know
how late into our lives we were. The end was coming
as I was again in Piraeus, disembarking this time.
He was likely walking his dogs, blossoms from Jacarandas
adding a little slip to uneven stones, another small risk,
just as the blossoms were before they fell from the tree.
Home now, he slumped in his chair and was gone.
I see it now, though it was told. Remembering it,
I want to pull him out of oblivion and, with help
of all invisible things, lift him up, set him
in the chair from which he will spring comically up,
no longer hunched, back to when we hadn’t met.
Dear future friend, now I cry.
Thanks to the pandemic, in 2020 James Cervantes found himself repatriated in the U.S. after having lived mostly in Mexico for the previous fifteen years. His latest book is From Mr. Bondo’s Unshared Life. Sleepwalker’s Songs: New & Selected Poems, published in 2012, is comprised of 32 new poems and others selected from six previous collections. He was editor of Porch and The Salt River Review, and was editor of In Like Company: The Porch & Salt River Review Anthology (Mad Hat Press, 2015).