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  • Alex Feliciano


Growing up

My most valuable lessons

Were engraved by a man,

Whose demons—

Were his downfall.

His warm goofy humor

And thoughtful voice

Never once showed the downside

Of living the life,

Of a party animal.

I would sneak upstairs

To stay up late—there he was.

This is where our spirits

Would ascend

As his would rapidly descend

Crashing and burning

He had a smile

So contagious,

You could catch it.

How a glove

Hugs a baseball.

His words—

Were always unorthodox,

But they were as clear

As the sun smiling,

Off his bald head.

Before we departed,

there was one last lecture

From an instructor

Enslaved to his life.

I was told

To never settle

To stay stern

And to stay grounded.

As if he knew his time,

Was ticking.

Next time I saw him

He was dressed

With a suit


silk black coffin.

As he laid to rest,

they called him an addict.

A failure.

They gawked,

But I wept.

I could only recall—

My eternal mentor.


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