Cool and overcast. The soft thump of a bird side-swiping a window. An ant walks with exquisite slowness up the side of the house.



    Abuelo had a stock warning to the family cochero*
    which was also his daily mantra: “slow down, hijo,
    we are rushing.” That was probably his pet peeve,
    because he would walk most times to town, white
    gabardine suit and Barcelona cane, ramrod clean,
    chin unnervingly up, eyes alertly espying greeters
    from morning porches: Hola, primo, como esta?
    Estoy bien, querida. Donde esta su esposo guapo?*
    Conversation stalls, she casts her eyes down, exits
    to a shuttered room, and waves him hasta la vista.*
    Cool and overcast mornings like these prompt me
    still to consider how quickly a sweet-bird of youth
    perishes hearing whispers of furtive assignations,
    quite like the fractured sparrow crashing through
    the windowpane trying to snatch the bulky red ant
    still exquisitely inching its way beyond the shards.
    An Icarus to his Daedalus, I was enchanted by him
    to adore all he stood for. I did not imagine myself
    plummeting, even as he walked slowly away letting
    my hand go when all I wanted was to hold on fast.

    —Albert B. Casuga

    * Cochero –driver; Hola, primo, como esta?– Hello, cousin, how are you?
    Estoy bien, querida. Donde esta su esposo guapo? —I am well, dear girl. How is your handsome husband?

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