Día de Los Muertos

Issue 6 | Summer 2021 |



Memory: the place we lay our loves to rest.

Today the grave is lined with marigolds,
each remembered kiss a fistful of fire.

My first true boyfriend appears
in photos of a parade through Torreón.

It’s night where he lives.

He glows under festival lights,
more handsome, somehow, than before.

I trace the bones of who we were—
spine, skull, sockets like windows
round the private darkness

where we could touch: movie theaters,
my bedroom, a car in the canyon.

See, I’m no stranger to haunting.

He smiles for the camera, not me.
Living his own life in which I’m a ghost.

Tonight the photo makes a threshold
I cross over the way the dead do,
from an afterlife to one before

where I take his hand and we lie down
beside a river, his chest on mine,
hearts stacked.

Each breath presses ribs together,
presses earth and dusk together
into a horizon of desire. We listen:

blood rushes through us
as our eyes close like flowers in the dark.