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SHJ Issue 8
Fall 2013

[Two Poems]

by Eduardo Ramirez


I wanted to capture the words—
a violet eddy of emotions
that tumble and lift again—
like an inhalation captures the wind.
a pulse
a beat
a measure
a song
A quickening of the heart
To which we can dance along.
I wanted to capture the words—
After all the anxiety
And exertion—
Like an inhalation captures the wind
In order to breathe easily or freely again.
And only to say this:


Things I Like

i like
the sound of a strong wind
through the tiny cracks
of my weathered window sill
like a heartbroken wolf
it reminds me
of that long ago December
when you licked my lobe
and in your cinnamon voice
told me
that my touch
was like water
you never caused
a butterfly’s wings to flutter
from the silky rustlings
of a sundress

2. i like the cool feel of a light mist stinging my cheeks my lips my forehead my closed eyelids i think back to when i stood beside el sarto cure the tart sweetness of stolen oranges that left my fingers sticky with mischief
3. i like parades and fiestas that make the people happy brittle old women clapping their arthritic hands and flashing fleshy smiles the scent of pasteles arroz con gondules y relleno de papa the spirit is in the rhythm even foreigners in faux costumes can beam with genuine pride
4. i like very much childish feelings but i also like the manly machismo that implies brute strength i like Samson wrestling a lion or cutting off the foreskins of philistines but i don’t like his naivete towards delilah no i don’t like love and its insecurities its wayward loyalties and silent accusations i like this opinion even though it is based on nothing more than fear



SHJ Issue 8
Fall 2013

Eduardo Ramirez

Photo of Eduardo Ramirez

I am a dream deferred

I am hope on hold

I am soon to come

I am in progress

I am an arrow pointing true

I am human

I am you, man


[Webmaster’s Note: An essay by Ramirez, “Welcome to Hell,” also appears in this issue of SHJ.]

[Postscript by Contributing Editor, Thomas E. Kennedy: Eduardo Ramirez will celebrate his 37th birthday this November 10th—he has been in an adult, maximum-security prison since his 19th year—soon half his life! Even if he is guilty of the crime with which he was charged—and it is likely that he is not (the courts refuse to examine the DNA evidence)—enough is enough. In Denmark, you get far less time for a felony, even a violent crime, even a murder. Only in very exceptional cases will a person be incarcerated for 18 years. The U.S. has the most people in prison, per capita, of any country in the world! Ramirez devotes his time to maintaining his dignity under severe circumstances. He is an inspiration.]

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury