Nohemi—a Song for Paris

—Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of the United States
November 15, 2015

Mimi — can I call you that
this is a song for you —

with candles we stand & we kneel
this is how it is now we
well all of us we
send you these flowers across time
this time here which we 
cannot explain 

all love goes to you
& your friends the other night
so many with you gone we
stand we play Lennon’s piano
Imagine — we say
a world with out violence —
we want to imagine that in your name
Nohemi Gonzalez from El Monte 
from Whittier California from 
Cal State Long Beach — 
we run out of words 

the words
so many words your mamá
Beatríz your cousin Jacqueline
we know them now — for you

we write them a poem too
I do not know how we will do that
we are doing that - that is all
like the designs you made - for a high-spirited world
you said you were high-spirited, self-driven — yes
like the dreams you had
as the words First Generation
the ones you used to
describe            your life

we continue with you — somehow
it is not important to know how
it is important to continue that is all
I must say it again

we are all writing a poem 
for you for your cousin Jacqueline
for your mamá Beatríz — she loved you
their love will make it alright
all of our love will make it alright        yes

here is your song Mimi —

We light Nohemi a candle
the candle waves across the stars
close they are so close because
Nohemi & Paris are in our hearts

Because Nohemi &
Paris — are in our hearts