The Sunday Poem: Cristián Flores García




an invitation to lunch


we tailgate the ambulance
escaping the explosion of midday
holiday shoppers gridlocked

there’s the assaulting antiseptic odor
and the head nurse suggesting we wait

outside perhaps go for a bite to eat nothing
for us yet not allowed in condition critical but stable
to be back in an hour is an option

and before we turn to walk out
the doctor asks my father if

he would like my mother to be
revived and if there is a living

will questions I know my father
is not understanding I know I
must think quick must find

the words must translate must
waste no time must say it now

but I take my time to find the five key words
revive? respirator? would she agree?
yes yes yes in his mouth

he shouts his best English
no official living will I know

if it isn’t on paper it doesn’t count
but I talked to her about my death
about not wanting to be

artificially alive about gracefully
letting go when time comes

about please turning me into ash
with the words thank you
written on a plain box where I dust

will be gathered before spreading all
of me to the foamy surf along trails
and under the guava tree
because I fear the dark’s infinite

solitude and she agreed with me
she wanted the same
freedom as I exacted then

and now in a coma her opinion
does not matter to he husband of thirty

nine years deciding for her
on her behalf if needed he will have her
brought back to life

he will his will is
the last word




About Cristián Flores García

Cristián Flores García was born in Mexico City. She holds an MFA from UC Riverside. Cristián has received fellowships to Canto Mundo, The MacDowell Colony, and the Millay Colony. She’s working on her poetry collection, brickEater. Her poetry has appeared in PALABRA magazine, The American Poetry Review, and Connotation Press. She lives in California.

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“An Invitation to Lunch” © Cristián Flores García.


By | 2016-11-11T21:55:25+00:00 10.08.11|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem: Cristián Flores García

About the Author:

I’ve spent almost 20 years helping thousands of successful artists of all disciplines and working to make the arts more accessible. (One friend likes to call me “the arts enabler.”) From 1999-2012 I worked at The MacDowell Colony, the nation’s oldest artist colony, but I've also done time at an arts magazine, a library, an art museum, and a raptor rehabilitation center. In May of 2012 I left MacDowell to pursue writing, speaking, curating, and creative projects full-time. In 2015 I was named a “Top 100 Artist, Innovator, Creative” by Origin magazine. I've appeared as an arts and culture commentator on New Hampshire Public Radio, and in 2017 I was the recipient of the Wampler Art Professorship at James Madison University. I am the founder of the Gwarlingo Salon series, which connects artists like DJ Spooky with rural audiences in the Monadnock region. In 2017 my collaborator Corwin Levi and I will publish our first book, Mirror Mirrored, which combines Grimms’ fairy tales with vintage illustration remixes and the work of contemporary artists like Kiki Smith, Carrie Mae Weems, and Amy Cutler. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, but have called New Hampshire home since 1999. My studio is located in the historic, mill village of Harrisville. I miss fried okra, the early southern spring, and restaurants that stay open past 9:00 p.m., but rural life agrees with me. In New Hampshire I can see the stars, go kayaking or snowshoeing, watch bald eagles fish in the lake, and focus on my creative work in silence. I no longer have to worry about traffic jams; deer, wild turkeys, and frost heaves are the primary road hazards here. Although I live in the country, I’m fortunate enough to be part of a vibrant arts community that extends beyond this small New England village. The quiet days are punctuated by regular travel and frequent visits to museums, theaters, readings, arts events, lectures, and open studios around the country. (You can read my full CV here.) Thanks for visiting Gwarlingo. I hope you'll be in touch.