Monday Poem: “Damn!” By César A Gonzalez

Sometimes he’d be washing the car
. . . all by himself
and he’d say, “Damn!”
or sweeping the last dry morsels of leaves
onto an old dust pan
saved just for outside
for when he was alone
in the silence of a summer afternoon
he’d say, “Damn!”
He didn’t go to his aubuelita’s funeral
He wasn’t there when his father died
He was with someone else he loved,
and he wasn’t there the moment she died
Y le pesaba, sabes?
An anvil of loneliness
would fall into his chest
and he’d say, “Damn!”

by César A Gonzalez
Paper Dance, 55 Latino Poets
Persea Books, 1995

Y le pesaba, sabes? means “and it weighed on him, you know?”

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