Red Candle and Dark Whiskey

I called you
with living blood and lived memories,
with feet dancing to your laughter;

are you flirting with angels
and drinking heavenly mojitos?

I’ve called on you
with bawdy jokes
and ribald songs;

perhaps it isn’t your time…

I’m calling
with red candle and dark whiskey,
with open heart and closed—

“You said whiskey?”

 

for the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads and Poets United

Process Note: Today marks the second anniversary of my little brother’s death. Gregory Guerrero’s flesh and bones left this world on February 28, 2013, ten days before his 27th birthday. But his spirit continues to grow in the hearts of those who love him as he was, in the memories of anyone who speaks his name and summons his smiles…

The poem above came to life after my friends, Jonquil, Sharon, Rommy, Kim and Gina replied to a message I posted on my Facebook wall. I had been working on a short story that celebrates my little brother’s life, when sadness began to creep in; I wasn’t ready for it. So I shared a portion of the first sentence of the story: “I’ve been calling on you, with living blood and lived memories…”, and asked friends to cheer me up by completing it. I said to keep in mind that the words were being spoken by a living sister to her dead brother; that he loves a good joke… and she adores the sound of his laughter.

Thank you, my ladies. May the song of our words warm my little brother’s soul… ♥

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Gregory Guerrero

You will always be loved, mi Gordis…

89 thoughts on “Red Candle and Dark Whiskey

  1. “with red candle and dark whiskey,
    with open heart and closed” … This is my favorite part. The heart is so often part open and part closed. Maybe the bottle is too.

    I’m so sorry about your brother. Does your nickname mean something like “my little fatty”?

  2. I thought about replying on your facebook page but none of my words fit or seemed like Enough. A painting popped into my head though that I’ll share when it’s done. Hope your little brother doesn’t mind if I raise a glass of dark rum instead of dark whiskey. Cheers, bro!

  3. This poem is perfect, Magaly. ❤ The bond you share with your brother is so heartwarming. I feel like I get more of a sense of him each time you write about him. Your poems and stories about him are like Día de Muertos altars made out of words.

  4. He would be honored.. I think he already knows u’ve written this… I can feel the love and how much u miss him…your words reflect how much I miss my brother as well.

  5. Hey Magaly, the brightness of his smile makes it seem like he left a hole that only can be filled with dancing and laughter, not regrets… Thinking fondly of you both xox

  6. Whisky is a fine spirit and I guess like calls to like. You make mad joy on a sad day and I have nothing but awe for your own indominatable spirit

  7. I love the notes and how you brought your brother back through your friends.. Losing a sibling has to be very very hard.. in your poem I especially love the big smile the last line brought to me.. sometimes the straightforward invite of Whiskey is the only way that works. Bless your memory.

    • Friends are a wonderful balm for the soul. Mine have always been there, giving what I need (and a few things I had no idea I even want it) when times get tough.

      The last line made me smile when I wrote it, too. It reminded me how I could always get him to listen if the offer of a sister-cooked meal and a couple of drinks were on the table. 🙂

  8. What a wonderful, fun, bittersweet poem for your brother. You both have the kind of big happy smiles that can’t help but make others smile, too. I’m so sorry he is gone from this world.

  9. Very heartfelt. There ‘s a Hindi ( the national language of India) movie called ” Yaadein” (means memories). It has a very soothing song and it fits here perfectly. the gist of the song is that ” baatein bhool jaati hai, yaadein yaad aati hain, ye yaadein kisis dilo janam ke chale janey ke baad aati hai, yaadein, yaadein….”it means that, memories are what we have when someone close to us leaves us.

  10. “with feet dancing to your laughter”…..I loved reading these loving lines, and really smiled when I got to his “You said whiskey?” Then I saw his warm-hearted smile and got a sense of who he must have been in this world. He is gone way too soon, Magaly. I do believe your and your friends’ words are making him smile.

    • Friends have been so great through this–from beginning to end. The first days were so very tough… but they were bearable in the company of people that hold you up and you feel like falling. Friends are gifts that grin a lot. 🙂

    • Losing a sibling is difficult, period… But when he’s a decade younger than you and not even 30… yes, it’s terribly hard. Sharing his smile and telling people a bit about him is very soothing.

  11. This is exactly how you keep his spirit alive…by sharing it in joyous words that depict the details of his life, his humor, your immense love and sacred sibling bond. An exquisite poem. Love, love, love <3

  12. Dear Magaly,

    I have taken some time this weekend to read up on my friends’ blogs and I realize that I have been missing out on ALOT.

    I can’t believe the shits stole your stuff and put up a whole website around it. I’m sorry. WHat was their endgame, making money in some way? Appaling.
    Is there something about WordPress that is somehow safer from threats, or that can track a theft better? Either way I hope the move worksout for you, and I will cerainly follow you over here.

    I’m sorry again for the loss of your brother. I wish there was a way for me to be on Facebook with my alias, so I wouldn’t miss out on these important events and dates in my friends’ lives.

    Take care

    • It’s good to read you back. I’ve missed you.

      I think they content is mostly use to fill space (typing that makes me feel a little sick, but I truly believe it). WordPress is a bit better when it comes to security, and a lot better when it comes to costumer service. I wrote to Blogger/Google about this and I’ve yet to get a reply. That should say something about how they would help. Bets to move on, right?

      Hm… I wonder if I can put a complete Facebook/wall feed on my sidebar. I’ll check. I will also check back on linking Facebook and Twitter….

      Hope all his well with you. I’ll visit soon. Hugs.

  13. “are you flirting with angels / and drinking heavenly mojitos?”—this hit me right through the heart as the longing is clearly felt in here. Sad undertones cling behind your happy expression of homage to him. Smile. Hope you feel better.

    – ksm

  14. The fact that you missed him shows very much in the way the poem progresses. One will miss him more as the years go by! It has a way of making you to remember the times together with the family by some endearing events. Sad but wonderful lines Magaly!

    Hank

  15. Era tan guapo, Magaly. Lo siento mucho tu pérdida.

    My Spanish is not nearly good enough to explain how my heart aches with yours, knowing how much the loss of someone you love, lives inside of you.

    Thank you for sharing him with us, mi amiga.

    • Guapísimo y buena gente; y un sinvergüenza tambíen, pero con un conrazón tan grande que siempre fue fácil perdonarlo.

      I know you understand. It’s the reason why your words about Sarah affect me so deeply. If I hurt for my brother the way I do, the pain you feel for the loss of you is almost unimaginable.

      There is soothing in the sharing. Doing so also keeps them alive in many people’s memories. ♥

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