Gardenias, jasmines, tulips,
acacias, lilies, forget-me-nots.
We stole dahlias from the bald
We tried to suck the fragrance
of magnolias. Our braids
held roses. We'd come back
home from school, and choose
the longer path along which
we'd pass through three parks.
We loved life.
I remember our trips to
the orphanages, in elementary
school. Miss Maya made the rules:
boys dress as clowns,
girls dress as Disney princesses.
You and I painted cards
and stuffed our bags
with lollipops for the little kids.
Before sleep, we narrated for dad
how our day went, thrilled
Dad. We had the best dad.
Every noon, we waited for him
to knock on the door, to
attack him with surprise kisses,
and get our share of cookies.
"My little monkey" was the nickname
he chose for you. He tucked us
in bed every night, and told
us dad jokes at breakfast. He liked
your soup, and my tea. He painted
our bedroom with a pattern
that was a chaos of bright colors.
You were a little curly-haired
angel with a slim gap between
her front teeth.
You had me when we lost him.
I stood unbreakable against
the cruelest of winds for you.
Now, you're an engineer. You
make phone calls with your
engineer, professional voice. You
dress like a lady, not a Disney
princess. You can stand on your own
now, and nothing can bend you.
We remember things, and nostalgia
makes us simultaneously laugh
and tear up. We pass parks now and
watch little children run between
our flowers, and live our memories.
The memories that include
only the two of us. The memories
we badly want to retrieve but know
very well we never will.
Dad left the love of the world
in our hearts, and we learnt to
give it to each other.