cutting your teeth on neruda

I found my oldest copy of Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda today.

I bought it when I was sixteen, living in Clifton. It was the first book I bought for my apartment.

Oh, my love affair with Pablo…

When my son, Gabriel, was 1.5 years old, he was so enchanted with the book he would play with it endlessly. I delighted in seeing him love it so.

He once looked at the stars on the inside cover, closed the book, and bit down on the cover and spine, leaving a four-baby-toothed-bite-mark on the book.

It was as though he was trying to eat the gummy yellow painted stars.

Those little indentions are now my favorite thing about the book…

This has become a poem.

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