Poem 9, 2022

A Few Good Years

The genie said three wishes.
Quick was I to search my mind
For the things I most desire:

Wealth,
Perfect health,
A long life sans accident.

Every now and then we dream
Of a windfall or a prince
Who'll whisk all troubles away,

And within the dreaming find
Cracks brought on by the hard weight
Of wanting to make it work

In both worlds — the real and make-
Believe. Hush, my mouth. Don't wish
For what you must grant yourself

To your self. I can't travel
Back in time, nor can I see
Danger in the dark where men,

Women and pleasures collect.
Is it not a dream-come-true
When fate and you have settled,

Where at its end the heart starts
A new desire? That is why
I told the genie my wish

Is to have a few good years
Where sleep is easy and friends
Are near; my feet are light here

Coming home to a knowing;
A few good things in a string
Of days, after which may break,

But not before ecstasies!
Some helpings of a good life
To remember and reclaim.

—Razel Estrella

Note: Another version of this poem ends with the additional one-line stanza:
Else to die on.
But I'm a masochist and I like torturing myself.

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