My uncle gifted me The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success when I graduated high school. The book left a tremendous mark on me, particularly the final law–that of Dharma. I knew I 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 I felt this to be true. But, until very recently, I was terrified to turn poetry into a life.

That I was asked to write a poem for the 25th anniversary edition of this book is a form of homecoming for me. I am so very grateful to take part.




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.