Albuquerque, New Mexico USA
To the boys I loved - Thank you for the passion and wonder of our first kiss. Because of the difficult lessons you've taught me I'm discovering the joy and satisfaction of true love.
Goodbye, Jason, my first love - When I first saw you I knew we were meant to know each other intimately so I pursued you valiantly. I'll miss our kindred connection, laughing until we cried, and talking philosophy behind the baseball diamond in the secrecy of night.
Goodbye, Estevan - You were my older guide to womanhood teaching me the language to express my physical desire. I'll miss sneaking away for my nightly lessons.
Goodbye, Jessie - Mountain Man, my gentle giant. I'll miss lying on our backs listening to vinyls, reading poetry, and kissing tenderly. I'm sorry for hurting you. Forgive me.
Goodbye, Dylan - You're as elusive as the air I breathe. When I reach for you I grasp nothing. I grasp nothing. I'm sorry you were an idea and not a person. I'm sorry you feel I abandoned you but our love was a destructive phenomenon that I had to run away from. I'll miss most meeting the bittersweet challenge of making you happy.
Goodbye, Matthew - I loved you with all the passion and audacity of my innocence. We lived somewhere on the edge of the Rio Grande in a small house with our ancestors. Our love connected me intimately to my culture, my myth, my history, and to my youth. I'll miss our adventures and your unconditional support and admiration. I'm sorry I couldn't stay. Forgive me and send me your blessing. I send you mine.
To those who have passed on - Thank you for your ghostly guidance
Goodbye, Marc - I had a dream about you when I was six and have been haunted by your ghost ever since. I wish I had known you, big brother. I miss your guidance and influence. There's a motorcycle in my shed in your honor.
Goodbye, Uncle Al - You said on your deathbed when they showed you a picture of me in my uniform, "Que Linda! She is too beautiful to be a soldier." You were right. Those words foreshadowed the end of a chapter in the story of my life. I miss most just sitting quietly near you, inhaling your scent of a lifetime of cigarettes. I miss your stories. We were an interesting pair.
Goodbye, Aunt Trinidad - I miss your empanaditas, holding your hand, and talking flowers. You took with you my familial feminine history. I mourned you before you were even dead. After Uncle Al died you spoke with him softly yet unabashedly. You showed me how to love a man.
Goodbye, Walter - I wish I could've said goodbye properly, but I didn't know. No one told me. I miss laughing with you and sharing the ironic tragedies of our youth. Your end was the last we shared.
To my tormentors - Thank you for the challenges you've presented me
Goodbye, comrades - What a waste. My choice to leave the military was one I had to make. I had to say something and loud. Leaving was the only way I knew how to say it. I stayed true to my heart and followed the sound of my voice away from this death march, like Dr. Zhivago away from the military pressures and consequences that stayed him towards beauty and truth. Maybe on some level it was cowardly and selfish but at the time it felt courageous and bold and liberating. Nothing could've made me stay - not even you. It was especially your face, Francisco, when I told you I wasn't going with you to Iraq that weighed heavy on my mind. Our mirrored youth was devastating. http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2003/iraq/forces/casualties/
Goodbye, happiness - I sought for you almost pathetically. You are the farce of our countries legacy. When depression came I reached for you like a dying man reaches for god, or something equally elusive, terrified of his own death. Mine was the death of self and self dies anyway but gracefully. "I am large. I contain multitudes" - Whitman
Goodbye, expectations - What a useless, fruitless exercise in ego! I release myself to the possibilities.
Goodbye, resentment and pride - You've done nothing but poison my potential.
Goodbye, guilt and self-punishment - I want to own my mistakes and confront my life lessons confidently rather than twist and writhe under the weight of my consequences.
Goodbye to putting off writing.