Here I am at 78, my first wife, Lucia Ungaro de Xevallos,
Drops in today, “I hear you have bladder and prostate cancer,
That’s terrible, even if we aren’t still married, tú sabes qué
Te quiero más que cualquier otra persona del mundo entero
You know that I love you more than anyone else in the whole
World … ,” “Y tú sabes qué yo siento igual / And you know I
Feel the same … ,” two hours, coffee, poppy seed rolls, going
Over our years in Peru, the archaeology of Tiwanaku in Bolivia,
My realizing that it was the religious/mythological basis for the
Garden of Eden, the Hindu Home of the Gods, Ti-a-Naku in
Babylonian “myth”/sacred reality, she leaves, I get a call from
My daughter in Cambridge, Massachusetts (daughter of wife
#2, married to a Frenchman who teaches at MIT), “Je t’aime,
T’aime, t’aime / I love you, I love you, I love you … ,” “Moi
Aussi, je t’aime / Me too, I love you,” “How long do you have
To live?”, “Five doctors, five different opinions,” she begins to
Cry, I ask her about her new job teaching first graders in French,
A special Frenchification school in the Boston area, she goes on
For half an hour about how much she loves it … , then more tears,
A goodbye, “À bientôt! / Soon!,” my third wife comes home, a
Brazilian M.D. (pathologist), her hands full of papers with test
Results of exams I went through earlier this week, “It looks
Bad, não sai cuánto tempo temos juntos / I don’t know how
Long we have together,” turns on Skype and we’re talking to
Her sister, Lourdes, in Florianópolis, Brazil, dying from pancreatic
Cancer, kissing the screen full time, we’ll be down there in
Another month, three visits a year, I always love to stop in Lima
On the way back to visit my ex-brothers-in-law who deep, deep
Down will always be my brothers, period … . Then evening news
Time, BBC, WGN in Chicago, bombers and shooters, Afghanistan
And Chicago, everywhere, time to go to bed, completely confused,
Disasters that happen, just happen enough, no killer instincts in me,
Just survival, enjoy tonight’s film or concert or new poetry book
From Lynn Strongin … in British Columbia, wheelchaired
For the last sixty years, but at least one new book out every year.