This poem was written for the Memorial Service this weekend for Dolores Prida, the Dear Abby of Latinas, whose critically acclaimed advice columns, plays, books and Op-Ed pieces span a generation. Prida died suddenly this weekend of unknown causes following a party she attended which included Latina leaders like U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The tribute will also include a letter from President Barack Obama and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.


You died that night, when the air was sharp and the sidewalk seemed to
When the borrachas were talking nonsense and my eyeballs fogged with
I didn’t even see it when you left. So I missed it when you died.
But you will die for me again when the birds come back. And I will see
it then.
You will die the day I drive down 116 street and can’t stop by to
scratch the cat
And you’ll die again on the day of Puerto Rican Pride. When the patio
remains shut. And the grill is off
When the sun is shining on the empty bricks and weeds pop thru. You will
die that day too.
Then again, you’ll die in August, when the email starts to fly in search
of the next LIPS meeting.
“Join me for the annual summer bbq in ‘Lola’s
Patio,” another LIPS Bembeleta. Wear your fajas!”

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You will die again when summer flares. When I urge you, fruitlessly, to
join us at the beach. “Qué Calor. Come over. I don’t like the beach.
Tengo mangera
And even soon. Like this morning, when the January emails succumbed to
ARCHIVE: “Wireless mike?… ADM! (Ay, Dios mio) this is getting out of
You died and you killed Facebook with you, because without your humor
para qué. And Twitter, ni hablar.
@AYDOLORES. ¡¿Ay pa’ que?!
Who will edit me? Who can I call in a panic?
You’ll die again when some Latina reaches for the phone while facing off
against a deadline. “Oye Dolo, how does this sound?”
Sabes, no importa. I like it.”
No more emails. No more texts. No more Wise Latina Tshirts or another
ceramic fish.
Te me mueres. Te me vas.
You will die again for me on all our birthdays.
And when we take another group photo in the Fall. Where will I stand?
Where will I rest my hand?
Qué dices Dolo, ¿me veo Gorda?.”
Ay stand behind me. It’s the least I can do.”
You will die again, at the door to your Xmas party. Because, God
Dolores, you had the best hug going.
Y los niños, ni hablar.
You will die a little bit each time I look at all the Liams or the
Lunas, Ariana, Elisa. When you’re not there smiling at someone’s kids.
And saying that the children grow like flowers. “Just throw a splash of
water and they’ll grow.”
You will die again next Fall when there is nothing at all to do.
Óyeme Dolo. Let’s check out the chicas. Or kick back un trago. Or eat
and eat and eat. One more time, huh?
I guess we won’t all be moving to El Barrio, as you’d planned. Because it wasn’t about there.
It was about you.
Te me mueres. Te me vas.
And you took things with you. Like every issue of Latina. And the
El Diario op-ed. Because when something truly, incredibly fucking important
happens. Dolores Dice is now Dolores no dice fucking NADA.
And you took those glasses. And the soft silk shirts. And the smell of
soap and cigarettes and kitty. They all died too.
Te me mueres. Te me vas.
Te me vas.