After much deliberation, I finally decided to share my poem with Carlos. I felt compelled to show him after awhile. Part of me wanted his approval even though the poem wasn’t necessarily about him (though he definitely inspired it) and another part of me wanted to know his reaction. He knew I was writing a poem based on his experiences, so he was eager to read it as well. I was anxious to know his reaction but after reading his email, I’m glad he finally responded:
You brought a perspective to a memory that I guess for me only meant anything. Back then I felt it was like living art or some kind of poetic devotion not only to someone who passed on but to an ideal, and I thought it's a thing only a few people would understand. I guess it was personal. It was a thing with my roots and my background that most folks would probably see as kooky and mundane (nice choice of words uh?) What you wrote though conveyed what was going on at the time i.e. getting home after a sleepless morning and laying to rest after a relapse. The guilt, the 'eyes are stone, her hair the stench of packed dirt,” and holding on to my strength objectified in that charm—the craziness and the drugs and the guilt. I held on to the bird to remember where I came from and what I felt my burden was. It meant a lot because I devoted my studies and my life to that ideal. You wrote a really cool poem, all bullshit aside. I enjoy your style. It's clean and it strikes chords at the right moments, flows you know.