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See below the poem for information about the author.
My Next Life – by Dwight Okita
In my next life
I want to be Puerto Rican.
Like the woman at the New Year’s Eve Party
in black mesh stockings pointing
at her heart saying, I dance from here.
I want to dance from there too.
To talk with my hands and throw
large parties, to do even the smallest things
A young man coming into his own, you said of me
and in my head I saw seedless green grapes
drifting in a glass of icewater on a terrace,
a grand piano I could press my fingers against
when I am lonely. And big parties:
celery stalks swirling on glass platters,
staircases to descend from — everyone
I have ever loved climbing down them:
Why put off until the next life
what you can do in this one? I gather
my friends in groups of six at our
regular restaurant — the one
with spoons scattered beneath the table.
Our cups lie face down on their saucers
as if they don’t hear a word
we are saying, and the waitress watches us
from the kitchen through the window
of the swinging door. We will give her
something to watch.
About the poet: