Tomás Q Morín • Saudades

When that word, one part swine,
one part evasion, first wobbled into my life
I was eating pastrami and hiding in my office
from students and I know Andrade was in the air,
as was the Samba, and how it’s almost impossible
to translate either one, nor should you
unless you’ve been a disciple of the rough grief
that lovingly wraps you in its wings, which is warmer
than one would expect, so much so that it’s easy
to forget for a moment something trivial like pigs
aren’t supposed to fly or that if you say “saudades”
with enough pain and heart the pigs of your past will come
trotting out of the dark, doing their little sideways dance
around you, shaking their hips to the drum
in your chest until you forget what a frown is
or why we need them and oh they will remind you
how delicious carnivale is, and how glorious
it is to make the past present, and how
easily one can sleep dressed in feathers.

Tomás Q. Morín is the author of A Larger Country, winner of the APR/Honickman Prize. With Mari L’Esperance, he is co-editor of the anthology Coming Close: 40 Essays on Philip Levine.