Chacarita

I couldn’t find the farmer’s market — street dead
ended at a cemetery before the numbers mounted
to pyramids of grapefruit and splayed chard leaves.
Roamed among crypts, the shattered windows,
padlocks and weeping inlays –death’s
smooth arms, her hooded head.   So many
rows of mini-palaces, enough for one room
and a basement stacked with coffins. Do

the Catholics know more about death than I,
alone visiting no one’s grave?       I’ve
never killed or watched the soul drain out
of the skin.            Seen but one stilled
body, lost a few precious friends from my table.
Once I even went to a Catholic mass,
the priest claiming a more ornate ecstasy
than skipping through the hallways of our Earth —
I swore and spat in the pews.

But when you walk among stone tombs,
the only living human for a mile, trees still
whistle and sigh, sag under tear-shaped fruits,
their leaves some familiar pattern from your mother’s
inner wall. The breeze pushes you to grasp
at all that you want, and all that you reach,
in the end                        mortal.

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Featured photo by t.bo79

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8 responses to “Chacarita

  1. I used to live a couple of blocks from the cemetery and have spent more time in there than it’s probably sensible to admit. I remember having similar thoughts to those of your poem’s speaker, though I couldn’t have expressed them so well. And you can never have enough death puns: “street dead / ended at a cemetery…”

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