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Best Famous Emanuel Xavier Poems

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by Emanuel Xavier | |

WALKING WITH ANGELS

 for Lindsay

AIDS
knows the condom wrapped penetration 
of strangers and lovers, deep inside
only a tear away from risk

knows bare minimum t-cell level counts, 
replacing intoxicating cocktails
with jagged little pills

knows how to avoid a cure thanks to war
how to keep pharmaceutical corporations
and doctors in business

AIDS
knows the weight loss desired 
by supermodels,
knows the fearless meaning of a friends genuine kiss or hug
converts non-believers to religion 
and spirituality

comprehends loneliness
values the support of luminaries
smiles at the solidarity 
of single red ribbons

knows to dim the lights 
to elude detection
how to shame someone into hiding
from the rest of the world
to be grateful for the gift of clothing 
and shelter,
to remain silent, holding back the anger and frustration

AIDS
knows that time on earth 
is limited for all of us
that using lemons to make lemonade is better than drinking the Kool-Aid
but no matter how much you drink
you are always left dehydrated

knows working extensive hours
to pay hospital bills, 
the choice of survival
or taking pleasure in what is left of life

knows the solid white walls
you want to crash through 
and tear down
the thoughts of suicide 
in the back of your head

AIDS
knows the prosperous could be doing more with their wealth
and that everyone still thinks it is a deserving fate- for gays,
drug addicts, prostitutes, 
and the unfortunate children of such
born into a merciless world of posh handbags and designer jewelry

knows how to be used as another percentage to profit politicians
knows it doesn’t only affect humans 
but animals too, without bias
-providing fodder for art and something to be left behind

if there is a God
he has disregarded our prayers
left his angels behind to journey along with us
-none of us knowing exactly 
where we are headed


by Emanuel Xavier | |

IT RAINED THE DAY THEY BURIED TITO PUENTE

 It rained the day they buried Tito Puente
The eyes of drug dealers following me
as I walked through the streets
past shivering prostitutes
women of every sex
young boys full of piss
and lampposts like ghosts in the night
past Jimmy the hustler boy 
with the really big dick 
cracked out on the sidewalk
wrapped in a blanket donated by the trick
that also gave him genital herpes 
and Fruit Loops for breakfast
past the hospital where Tio Cesar 
got his intestines taken out
in exchange for a plastic bag 
where he now shits and pisses
the 40’s he consumed for 50 years
past 3 of the thugs 
who sexually assaulted those women 
at Central Park 
during the Puerto Rican Day parade 
lost in their machismo, 
marijuana and Mira mami’s
‘cause boricuas do it better


Tito’s rambunctious and unruly rhythms never touched them 
never inspired them to rise above the ghetto 
and, like La Bruja said, “Ghet Over It!”
his timbales never echoed 
in the salsa of their souls
though they had probably danced 
to his cha-cha-cha
they never listened to the message 
between the beats
urging them to follow their hearts

On a train back to Brooklyn
feeling dispossessed and dreamless
I look up to read one of those 
Poetry In Motion ads
sharing a car with somebody sleeping
realizing 
that inspiration is everywhere these days
& though the Mambo King’s body 
may be six-feet under
his laughter and legend will live forever

The next morning 
I heard the crow crowing, “Oye Como Va”
his song was the sunlight in my universe
& I could feel Tito’s smile 
shining down on me