Día de Los Muertos
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,
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.