Dear Pablo

Several dozen people gather around Pablo's memorial, at which a solid white "ghost bike" is being placed.

Image caption: A ghost bike is dedicated to Pablo at his memorial on May 19, 2018. Photo by Suzy Subways

By eian


There is a rusted bolt that binds
The old globe to its axis
we are each the center of a small universe
immense in its complexity

I watched a solitary cyclist cross
That wide granite and gray space,
Boulevards wide, ringed with stone columns
Ruins ready made
Names carved in granite
Each tragedy a premonition of the next one
An endless rush of cars
So that it seems the traffic wore away
Cutting a canyon through the hard stone,

I was working there, building another stupid hotel
All this incredible wealth,
Flowing through the old city,
Like lava consuming everything in its path
Viewed from above, would it seem like
The path of a comet, an arc of pure heat
That creates and destroys

It is spring, but I think I last saw you
At the end of the last winter,
Riding, amidst that flow of traffic

You rode past me without seeing me,
In the memory you look almost statuesque
I can’t remember, so like a silent statue
Its color washed away by the ages.
I see you staring past me, into the middle distance.  

A group of young boys play,
Shirtless amidst the tarnished bronze and yellowed
Stone of a well used fountain,
Impossibly wet, fortified against the cold
Almost statuesque, straddling Poseidon’s leg.  

Everything you ever were, everything that you
Were going to be,
A flash in a pan, an arc across the sky
Of a meteorite that burned to nothing as it went.  

A magnet dropped through a length of copper pipe
Falls slowly, cradled by some invisible force,
Weak bonds, invisible connections,
That hold the world together as it spins.  

When I met you, we spoke late into the night
The heat of your ideas, barely contained
Flames peeking through gaps in that old cast iron stove
I was struck by the clarity of your thoughts
And everything seemed possible.  

In recent years we shared an odd intimacy
You slept in my bed when I was not there,
And now, in your absence, the ground has shifted
The axis seems unsteady, things fall apart.  

The globe continues to spin,
Yet at its center,
Nothing but a hole.  

. . .

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