This Moment / Right Now

                              for Monica Hand

there’s a whispered prayer blowing
the crumbs of a season’s harvest
                    off a girl’s plate

& a roar breaks from her insides,
the roar a lioness
                    a beast that knows

& a man kneels somewhere
cupping his tears
                    for the loneliness he feels

though he’s surrounded by the world,
& a finch in a tree singing
                    for a lover as the buds on its branch

pop into leaves that will flourish
& welcome the green grasses,
                    Right now    a boy is wondering

if people can really dodge bullets
& is he one of them & somewhere nobody bothers
                    to ask, they simply wait

Wind spins across the landscape
they say God is twirling his fingers—

The heartbroken hook new bodies,
night after night, drink after drink

& I dance—my feet mashing grapes
for wine & I sing mockingly—
                    what is life / what is life


Copyright © 2017 by Roberto Carlos Garcia. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 20, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“I attended the poet Monica Hand’s homegoing service recently and was grateful and humbled by how fully she lived her life and her dream of becoming a poet. Every time I attend a service and say goodbye to someone, I contemplate what living a life amounts to, especially if that person departed suddenly. I’m overwhelmed by the thought of billions of people caught up in a moment, and I obsess over how many people stay caught up in life instead of truly living their dream—I question that.”
—Roberto Carlos Garcia