Birthday Poem for Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“If God hadn’t rested on Sunday, He would have had time to finish the world.”  -Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Marquez

Dear Gabo,

Thank you for showing me

that even if angels did plummet to Earth,

we would probably treat them

as we treat all strangers. Thank you

for your humor and your

observations on the banality of life,

which is our own fault. We may

in fact be in the company of angels,

but we would not notice.

We take the magic of this world for granted,

just as we would take real magic for granted.

I can listen to music from a tiny, shining box

through two buds connected by a smooth, white rope,

and I take it for granted. I can travel

to your country and visit you

by hopping on a winged ship

with a thousand travelers,

and I take it for granted. I can write

a letter to you on a humming typewriter

powered by manufactured lightning

extracted from three holes in the wall

through plastic and metal plumbing,

then send that letter through space and time

to an ethereal cloud encompassing the planet,

with the possibility of you reading it.

As a writer, you made beautiful

that which was ugly

and ugly that which was beautiful,

and you exposed

the underestimated incompleteness

of the world. For that, I am grateful.

Sincerely,

JK

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