Ruben Esparza

When I Die
When I die at the ripe age of a hundred and twenty-five
Adagios to cumbia, mariachi to disco, punk to
all that stuff from the eighties, is the music they’ll play
as they send me away
No cryin’, no sad good-byes,
only singing and dancing and remembering all the laughter and
All the good times
In the box where I lay, close to my chest are pictures
of all the people I hold dear, abuela Lola, mi quierida madre, mis hermanos y hermanas,
and that one picture of the love of my life, Jeff
Along with the list of all my boys I lost to AIDS, included in that list
the name of my first love, Russell, who was taken at a very very young age,
it has fogged my life with profound sadness and also rage
Bury me deep in the ground, anywhere in my beautiful Califas,
wrapped in the softest of zarapes,
where the seed planted in my chest will grow into an Aliso tree
These are my wishes when I die