San Miguel, Ash Wednesday’
You faded so long ago but here in the souvenir arcade you’re everywhere: the printed cotton bags, the pierced tin boxes, the red T-shirts, the beaded crosses: your coiled braids, your level stare, your body of a deer or martyr.
It’s an image you can turn into if your ending’s strange enough and ardent, and involves much pain. The rope of a hanged man brings good luck; saints dangle upside down or offer their breasts on a plate and we wear them, we invoke them, insert them between our flesh and danger.
Fireworks, two streets over. Something’s burning somewhere, or did burn, once.
A torn silk veil, a yellowing letter: I’m dying here.
Love on a skewer, a heart in flames. We breathe you in, thin smoke, grief in the form of ashes.
Yesterday the children smashed their hollowed eggs on the heads of others, baptizing them with glitter.
Shell fragments litter the park like the wings of crushed butterflies, like sand, like confetti: azure, sunset, blood, your colours.