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Juan Ponce De Leon (1474-1521) delivers a eulogy for Rane Arroyo (1954-2010).


   Puertorriqueno, I thought you pale from a lilywhite liver,
   a word jester bent over the continent of a desk

   with a feather and inkwell while I strode
   burning under the sun with sword and helmet

   across an ellipsis of islands conquered for the crown
   and my own renown. I don't find you here in Hell

   with my conquistadores and me. Are you a disbeliever
   so you can't go anywhere, or have you joked your way

   into Heaven by reading San Pedro his tarot cards?
   Which one trumped him--the El Diablo card

   with the twenty-dollar bills paper-clipped to it,
   or the judgment card offering a career change

   as a literary agent? All I know is I am in the heat
   and you're not in the kitchen. Hermano, we each

   have a home on La Isla, my grand city of Ponce
   to the west of the moon, your small city of Arroyo

   to the east of the sun, a sugar cane corozon, eye,
   and coqui cola between us. And who got recognition

   for a life lived? My legacy is a statue among the dead,
   yours a stature among the living. And while my skeletal

   conquistadores hire out for The Day of the Dead
   your writer friends sing in the dawn after nights

   of poems and wine, a CD by Ricky Martin moving
   hips for the living. I tell you hombre, I hid my heart

   behind my beard but you wore yours on your sleeve,
   slamming in bars for attention and an introduction

   to new life. I barred my windows to hide all I took
   and hoarded the silver and gold that became my final

   friends; you opened your door to the mariposas
   and parrots who filled your life with all the colors

   of the rainbow. Now my stone heart slowly approaches
   entropy, time falling away a like page torn from a history

   book: I have no facebook page, no social network, nada.
   But for you they gather, read your poems, cry, laugh,

   make a book in your memory so you will never die.

   Nino, I think your heart was too big for this world.

   Had I taken it, transplanted it into my chest of gold,
   it would have made a brave new world of you in me.

Robert Miltner

Kent State University

United States of America

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Title Annotation:Poemas/Poetry
Author:Miltner, Robert
Article Type:Poem
Date:Jan 1, 2015
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