Feet shuffling, shrunken spine
he greeted me with outstretched arms,
Efrain Jara Idrovo, beloved poet of Ecuador.
His eyes reflected an ocean of love
beauty and sadness weaving
over and under unexpected illusions.
He asked me to read his poem
“Sollozo por pedro jara”
~ weeping for his son Pedro Jara ~
“Pedroagelessrock made to endure
Pedro made of basalt”
But the stone cracked
Pedro hung himself in the bathroom.
After the suicide Efrain leaned forward
a lone horseman over a bare horse
his itchy wool blanket unraveled
the roads Pedro had traveled
Gently probing, words crying
he searched Pedro’s bones of rock
translucent, porcelain, his polished son.
He cut across a bridge of crystal
through precipices looking for stars
with veins that hurt from too much effort
Like a leaf cutter ant, Atta cephalotes,
he slowly carried each piece of Pedro
back to his soul and chewed it
delicately into his fragile heart.
He dug into yawning clefts
where half-baked clay caked
and could not be washed away.
Efrain’s words, full of tears
streamed down my face, full of love
streamed into my heart
burned flowers on my breath
in one deafening blow.
How will I survive this old man’s smile?