For my brother N.
You are celebrating your birthday today in Montevideo, Uruguay with friends and family. I miss you. This poem from Chip Livington's poetry volume Crow-Blue, Crow-Black reminded me of you.
(for the seven-armed Uruguayan)
- One to hold the mate; to stop a taxi; to extend an index finger to push up loose-eared eyeglasses;
- One to crook the thermos, pour the water, and redirect cooked yerba with a silver bombilla; to light a cigarette;
- One to puff the Rojo; to gesture "WWWHat a pity!!";
- One to fine tune antennae and radiate little summer shocks; to tune the radio to María Rita, tango electronica, or The Cranberries;
- One to good-guard new amigos from uneven stones and otras cosas peligrosas, bothers and malaria; to offer the growing moon, fireworks;
- One to scribble a waitress a phone number; to correct a stress from an Italian accent;
- One of rare perspective to photograph, spell out poetry, convert incantations, cast ordinary objects artesanal.
Together these brown arms shoulder the mochila,
sign shipping orders, protect candles, smudge a room
with incense; they envelop children in abrazos.
Embrace me also in these seven alchemical arms.
Make the tambores jealous. Take my hand as we
walk along the rambla becoming a new metal.
*Copyright © 2012 Chip Livingston