I died at the moment too.

*insert deep deep sigh here*

I’ve been refraining from writing this post for a while now. I suppose most of my procrastination comes from the contents of what this post is about.

Recently, I lost someone that was dear to me. Although  this person and I didn’t speak or hang out everyday, the moments that we shared were intimate and deep. The moments we forged are the kind that you countlessly (and randomly) recall in your head sometimes just for the sake of being able to remember.

The craziest thing about this lost is how and where it happened. My friend was killed on the street that my family lives on. When I first read about the four-person murder, and read his name as one of the four, I said to myself, “Hmph. I know someone with that (first)name.” It didn’t click right away that the person with my friend’s name was my friend himself. I was more concerned with the fact that the shooting happened on my street where my grandparents or brother or mother could have been hit my a stray bullet.

Then, when I read a different article about the homicide and saw a picture of his face the world froze, everything in my mind’s eye went black, my ears muted, there was no sort of connection with my senses. I died at the moment too.

I haven’t told anyone here about my lost and the grief that’s buried behind my left breast, or about the millions of questions and hypothetical scenarios I have about how and why it happened. I guess the worst part of it all is that picture of his face that was in the newspaper and how it haunts my memory and overrules my free time when I’m not prepared for it. For example, I could be in Tai-Chi class and there it’ll go; his picture clear in my mind like some sort of marquee that orders my sorrow to reveal itself. But, then I manage to  swallow the image by blinking my eyelashes.

Through this situation I’ve learned how to value my experience here in Rome that much more. Here I am in a place where I can pace these cobblestones at practically any hour and not have to worry about getting caught in cross fire, getting robbed, or gangs hanging on the corners. My life here is fearless, and worry-free. I don’t even have to worry about something as small a mouse running through my kitchen when I turn the light on. Not a single worry!

It’s sad that a death of a close friend dragged my eyes to the beauty that keeps me nestled here in Italy. But, it’s just an epiphany that beauty doesn’t solely consist of what can be seen, it’s also a feeling that makes you appreciate aspects of your life. Not enough of us pay attention to life while we have it.

Another reason why I hesitated to immediately write this post was because it was almost as if a part of thought that if I don’t ever write about it, it won’t be real.

As a poet, I thought about writing yet another socially conscious poem about the situation. Then I thought to myself, No!, I wont!.

I am sick and tired of writing the same poems, different words …same meanings. My poems about violence sometimes seem to just be synonyms of each other. I want to write poems about the beauty and the wonders of life. I want to write about love, and happiness, about power, about the God inside of me. I wonder, how many friends will I have to lose, how many storms will past, how many tears will I have to shed before such tragedies can rid themselves of being martyrs of my poetry. I want to write of positive energy.



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