andrea fabbiani taught me how to roll cigarettes. rolling cigarettes amongst other things like - how to make bread - how to brew coffee on the stove and - by and large how to be a badass. he taught me how to wait for things. come to think of it, maybe it was the rolling of cigarettes that taught me that but - still i attribute all desire for patience in my daily routine to - his all around ability to make it look so goddam cool.
we smoked lucky strikes, and would linger at the bus stop after the ride home from class, long enough to roll two or three good smokes to usher us into the prelude to sunset.
since my twenty fourth birthday - i have called seven different places home; and a month before i turned twenty six, i was just a few days from leaving italy to move back to el salvador. i made a promise to andrea that for my birthday i would write and publish 26 poems. there was this desperate part of myself that needed to gather all the unattachedness of these years and bind it together into something with a spine.
little did i know that two weeks later, on a back porch in south florida - i would meet a woman who made my heart swell. swell like an ocean - swell like a wave - swell like wave after wave - and day after day, in the years since then we have laughed and we have cried - and like incoming tides - we return, to that desperate part of ourselves that needs to bind it together into something with a spine.
so call this my prelude - written through cigarette smoke and the fading los angeles daylight. to a promise made over a lucky strike - a promise to a good friend and the glowing mediterranean - a promise i still imagine myself making as i break the surface from these past years with 26 poems i can read out loud. i hope they sound as bright as you all have made me feel.