Heya Pablo! Remember that time by the river? So hot then. Our white shirts stuck to our backs and our hands were sticky from mangos and milk.
You told me secrets.
You had sold almost everything you owned to publish a book of poems. The piano was gone. The automobile. The little cedar chest filled with pieces of ancient paper and spent light bulbs.
But you still had your socks! That’s so goddamn funny to me now. 12 pairs of socks, 3 briefs, 4 shirts, 2 suits, a jar of buttons, and 5 books that smelled like tobacco and church.
We sat and watched the mermaids swim in the river. And then you leaned over close and whispered:
“My real name is Ricardo.”
Fantastic! Sitting there with clean-feet-poor-man Ricardo, who wrote love poetry that would split the atom.
Do you remember, Pablo? Do you remember the mermaids?