Héctor was written by Caballero for the TimePieces Seven Collection, which commemorated the 25th anniversary of Deepak Chopra’s The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. Caballero was gifted this book by her uncle when she graduated high school, and it left a tremendous mark on her—particularly the final law, that of Dharma. She knew she was a poet since middle school but feared what that would mean for my future, practically.

Deepak writes that to lean into your passion is to invite abundance, in all its forms–and she felt this to be true, but was terrified to turn poetry into a life.

Writing this poem for the 25th anniversary edition of Chopra’s book was a form of homecoming for Caballero, and she was very grateful to be part of the project.




You gave me THE book when I was SEVEN
teen and off to college, said it was time to launch
my SPIRITUAL quest. You, the solitary uncle who
hardly dated, busy building a Garfield and Charlie Brown
empire, whose Colombian representation
you’d won.

I told my mom, your sister: He’s overcoming childhood deprivation, one
Snoopy eraser at a time. She shook her head: Something against
women. Meanwhile, you loved to warn me: Men want one thing. I, duteous,
never retorted: Great. I, so dutiful, I could’ve been a Roman soldier. Of course,
of all the book’s LAWS, my favorite was the last. Dharma: duty to self
as divinity. Years later, you bought me fancy drinks in Manhattan and asked
about my writing, knowing I’d taken work in finance. Independence is
expensive, I muttered. No money in poetry, no poetry in money, you lipped and
brought my mother up. Achilles killed Héctor not because he had to but because
he could.

I’m a poet now, Héctor. At least, I’m really trying. I should call to tell you, though
we haven’t spoken in so long. None OF the women in our family talks to
you. Not one. Find the thing that brings you joy and give it, the book says. What
aching talent did you bury? What certainty would’ve burst
you open if, when you were still raw, you’d read about what SUCCESS meant
in the pages of the book—this book—that the uncle you never had
never sent.