Since a child,
I spent various weekends
At mi abuelo’s apartment
In New York City.
It’s the one place that has
Been the same all my life.
Where the decor has never changed
And it has always been at the same address.
As a boy, mi abuelo chased me
Around the kitchen, yelling
“Cucccoooooo” with his hands out like claws,
And I laughed and he laughed.
On the days he didn’t work
He drank Budweiser from morning to night
And he would buy me
A 6 pack of maltas, so he wouldn’t drink alone.
I’m no longer that little boy
Drinking maltas with him
Or being chased around the kitchen.
Soy un gran varón.
I still visit from time to time,
But mi abuelo just drinks alone in his room.
When it’s time to leave I always say,
“Bye welo, I love you!”
All he’s able to say is “okay, me too,”
And he continues to drink alone,
Watching his favorite novelas.
I won’t see him again until the next visit.
One day there won’t be
A next time and I might
Never hear the words
“I love you too” from mi abuelo.
Now it’s me chasing him
With my claws up
Wanting him to love me
Like when I was a boy.
Suriel is a Worcester based poet searching for identity, while embracing the cultures and identities he holds through verses.