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Also by Virgil Suárez:
Anatomy of a Poetry Contest | Vespers on the Anniversary of My Father's Death | Poem for My Father

Vespers on the Anniversary of My Father's Death

at night the moths flock
to light, blinded, like your eyes
dulled and muted against pain

and the slap-zap of those paddles,
furious at the electricity of revival,
and you would not come back,

a tube wormed deep into lungs,
one last gasp, a squish of blood
working against the body's

need to go home now, sixty years
of travel on dirt roads, oxen carts,
a lulling of some distant cow's bell,

a cane field wind-swept like this
memory of flickering lights,
like you once told me that in Key

West if you looked hard and long
enough out into the water-distance
you could see the lights of Havana,

a shimmering beacon
on the horizon, and like insects
we are all attracted to this light,

good night, father, the lights are on.

Printed in the Spring/Summer 2000 issue of CLR

Virgil Suárez

Virgil Suárez was born in Havana, Cuba in 1962. He is the author of four published novels: Latin Jazz, The Cutter, Havana Thursdays, and Going Under, and of a collection of short stories titled Welcome to the Oasis.

He teaches Creative Writing and Latino/a and Caribbean Literature at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida where he lives with his family.

You Come Singing, a new collection of poems, is out from Tia Chuca Press/Northwestern University, as well as the limited edition book of poems titled Garabato Poems (Wings Press, San Antonio.) In The Republic of Longing, a new collection, is due out in the Spring of 2000 from Bilingual Review Press/Arizona State University.

You can find Virgil Suárez on the web at:
—  virgilsuarez.com
—  Florida State University
—  Barcelona Review
—  Meridian
—  Garabato Poems
—  Poetry Daily
—  Amazon
—  Barnes & Noble


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