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José Olivarez reads his poem I Loved the World So I Married It.

Brought to you by Complexly, The Poetry Foundation, and poet Paige Lewis. Learn more:

José Olivarez:

Book: Citizen Illegal,
Press: Haymarket Books

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My name is José Olivarez, and this is my poem "I Loved the World So I Married It".

It's a poem that I wrote hoping to move towards joy, and one that was visited by my grandmother who passed away a couple of years ago. And it's a poem that means a lot to me so I want to share it.

I Loved the World So I Married It

music, even on the day my grandma died
there were mangoes though i tasted nothing.

but slowly i came back to the world & carne asada.
better than i remembered, smoke off the meat.  i could not

contain my happiness even though it felt offensive
to smile with my grandma buried & getting eaten 

by the flowers & sometimes, i look at my love & 
think i would like to stay, to put a welcome mat

on our doorstep with our names hyphenated.
when i was young i believed in forever. then

my uncle died & i knew forever included none
of my family, included no friends, their stories

rotting in my head until i lose them again, so
i know i will divorce the world & let it keep

my most treasured possessions: a six-piece 
with lemon pepper & mild sauce on, all the honey

of a slow kiss, my Apple Music playlists,
the way mi abuelita smiled & called me Lupito.

i hated that name except when she said it.