Zion’s roads are in mourning, empty of festival pilgrims; all her gates are deserted. Lamentations 1:4
January. Upstate New York. The dead wait in limbo until March when the snow has melted and earth can open once again. Lauren says you feel sharp a second time— it is you who breaks open.
After Shirley dies I sift through her belongings find that purple kaleidoscope every sequin shining in the light. This is how we honor the dead— rooting through drawers of costume jewelry and hidden dollar bills.
In Panama City Viejo is already giving his things away, taking art from the walls, pressing it into your closed hands. Tómalo…ya hay mucho aquí as if the thick tongue of God whispers in his ears.
In room 3109 I find Selna frozen. Her eyes stare silently at the ceiling. Remy and I watch the news, talk about her as if she weren’t in the room. We thought she would die three months ago. We wandered in to pray psalms, make peace with the angels standing at the gate. And now we wonder — how long can a person go on living without being alive?
V. A year with no music. One day it will come to this.