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Del Maximo Jun 2017
thinking of Pops
with Fathers Day looming
at the witching hour
saw someone give CPR
in a movie today
brought it all back
trying to keep count
while pumping his chest
watching his first gasp of breath
I thought he’d be all right
just like in the movies
but he didn’t keep breathing
so I just kept pumping
till the paramedics arrived

I know other details intellectually
I know his eyes shot upward
so I could only see the whites
but I can’t picture that anymore

the image that remains strong
is that deep gasping breath
a whole upper body heave
just like in the movies
when they regain consciousness
I thought he’d be all right
but I had to keep pumping

with that deep gasp
I thought he’d come back
like a newborn baby
awakening to life
© 06/17/2017
Del Maximo May 2017
two dear friends
have lost their husbands
just days apart
verily they comforted me
at my times of loss
yet I can’t find the words
I ache for them
but my tongue is twisted
my keyboard locked
perhaps that realm
is still too painful for me

they say that love
is such exquisite pain
shared intimately by two lucky ones
beyond bedrooms
throughout the life they carve
while traipsing the universe

loss, then, is the obverse
the looking glass’ opposite side
through which survivors see
the lives their love has touched
where mourners share eloquent memories
embedded in their Brownian motion
movie clips etched inside closed eye lids

is it possible to walk alone
after having known
such infinite endlessness?
does love stop at death's door?
you see it in a stream of colors
shooting towards the sky
you see it in the misplaced moon
hiding in the sprucetops

the loss will always make you sad
but the memories will make you happy
and that exquisite pain in your heart
is but a measure of the love you feel
present tense
for one another
© 05/08/2017
Del Maximo May 2017
in the fourth grade
his father showed him
******* a man
by breaking his neck
my young friend demonstrated
“first push, then pull”
he got expelled
for unknown reasons
transferred to another school
didn’t see him again
till Jr. High

he didn’t have the grades
to get into my classes
except for P. E.
we enjoyed playing football
and basketball
one time some crazy dude
decided to jump on my back
I cracked him in the head with an elbow
he was dazed and said
“nobody hits me in the ******’ head”
as he staggered and backed down
I heard my friend proudly telling others
about it (hehe)

still the same old bad boy
but he was always cool with me
the things people said about him
stuff he did with a dog
a total lack of respect for women
he got convicted for ******
a seventy year old lady
he says he didn’t do it

part of the crack generation
with all that went with that
dealin’ and usin’s cycle of survival
I heard he got beaten up
nearly to death
and mysteriously dropped off
at E.R.’s door
he says the police did it
despite his corrupt ways
he was always candid
and seemed honest
it makes me wonder

saw him at Tito’s
getting tacos with his girl
he had cleaned up well
driving a Cadillac
with a Christian crown
in the rear window

ran into him at the corner
the liquor store near my job
he had been clean for three years
that last time I saw him
now he was living in that Caddy
with his big brother
back in the alley
he told me he was sick of this ****

caught me up with the boys
who had died
who got sick
who got sick and died
he asked if my car
was in the parking lot everyday
like he was gonna come and find me
I told him not to
he needed to go downtown
get to a shelter
to a program

as I turned to walk away
he called out, “love you”
I turned to face him
still back peddling towards the car
tapping my fist on my heart
© 08/21/2016
Del Maximo Apr 2017
they say the stars are falling
falling from the skies
I see them falling with my eyes
but never heard a falling star cry

I sit and watch the life of leaves
conversing with the breeze
but when I try to eavesdrop
tinnitus’ tones peal

they say the stars are falling
falling from the skies
I used to miss their music
the inflection of their rise

their lyrics became mealy
melodies to mysteries
but I can still feel that baseline beat
and follow lips while watching oldies

birds fly by in silent soar
without flap sound, flutter or tweet
perhaps my heart has gone numb with my ears
I don’t miss it anymore

does loss decrease life’s value
or make it all the more precious

they say the stars are falling
falling from the skies
I see them falling with my eyes
but never heard a falling star cry
© 04/21/2016
Del Maximo Sep 2016
knew a man who threw a ball
champion Reds
back in the day
he refused the anthem
for religious reasons
staying in the tunnel
till it was over
and no one ever knew

there’s a man now who throws a ball
refusing to stand for the anthem
not about religious rights
he stands on civil protest
citing police brutality
and social injustice
a simple nonviolent act
the courage to face public’s outcry
a willingness to accept
commercial monetary ramifications
placing heart above wallet

o, the uproar
the unmitigated gall
this spoiled rich athlete
should be grateful
for 19 million reasons
he should take the money and run
turning a blind eye
to the suffering of others
his allegiance has been
bought and paid for
how dare he think for himself
if he’s written any books
we should burn them
or abduct 300 of his girls

patriotism dictates
that he stand heartfeltedly
but conscience tells him otherwise
some say he should stay hidden
locked up in the locker room
as if Sister Rosa’s protest
would have been noticed
in the back of the bus

my parents came to this country
for a better life
for freedom and opportunity
I stand for the anthem
and the country it anthemises
I stand for the police
and the good works they do
but I also stand
for the right of others
to choose not to
after all
it’s not like police brutality
or social injustice
do not exist

let it all play out
see where it goes
after the outrage passes
as it always does
will his message be remembered?
was it ever even heard?
was it dismissed for patriotism’s sake?
he says he’ll sit until he sees some changes
I think he’ll have a long wait
till then, let’s go burn some books
or throw some tea in a harbor
© 09/11/2016
Del Maximo Sep 2016
for some it’s difficult
seeing beyond one’s own nose
anything or anyone different
any opinion opposing their own
seems it’s so hard to see
the other

egocentric mindsets
with the world as their reflection
and any piece that doesn’t fit
their ideology’s puzzle
doesn’t make sense
they paint by numbers
with every color in ever space

is it truly so unreasonable
to accommodate another?
especially someone with special needs?
is it so difficult to slowly syllabicate?
is raising your speech level truly yelling?
would it pain you to write things down
for someone who can’t hear you?
do you not trust email over voicemail?

a deaf counselor told me
it’s due to laziness
that people won’t pick up a pen
she may be right
but I think it’s nearsightedness
a myopia of mind and heart
I’d hit them over the head
if I thought it would help
© 09/11/2016
Del Maximo Sep 2016
the world was good
light shown through the dark void
waters parted to reveal dry land
Flora and Faunus presided
over primordial paradise
the green earth breathed crisp
cerulean skies
stars twinkled laser-like
through the unpolluted vastness
and every month a dragon
swallowed the moon
lions and lambs played peacefully
roses bloomed in deserts
rivers and oceans teemed
with every kind of cat and dog fish
buffalo roamed by the millions
and chickens came before eggs
nightingales sang songs
with humpbacks
butterflies flapped their wings
without consequence
the earth was new
the garden was fresh
then God created man
© 09/11/2016
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