Howie Faerstein

At sunrise 
listen for the Tinamou’s 
mournful whistle,
like the sibilant warbling 
of the dead
in distant latitudes,
like the withered holly 
revived to the root
once it’s cut.
We need the dead 
to teach us 
about love
and the dearth of love.

Michael has a habit 
of saying one life.
Then there’s pura vida 
which Costa Ricans 
use as their common idiom.
When we stop 
to buy an avocado 
from a guy 
on the side of the road 
I create a picture 
with words 
even as we speak 
different languages 
but we still transact business
because as he says, 
it’s pura vida.
After all, it’s one life.
One death.
Pura Vida.




HOWIE FAERSTEIN'S Dreaming of the Rain in Brooklyn was published in 2013 by Press 53. A second collection, Googootz and Other Poems has just arrived. Considering himself an “adjunct emeritus,” he is Associate Poetry Editor of CutThroat, A Journal of the Arts. After living in Brooklyn for fifty years, he now lives in Florence, Massachusetts.