When I woke this morning, I heard you fighting across the street with Cleopatra in the vacant lot that you both regularly inhabit. A Wednesday morning turf war.
We started calling her Cleopatra when we moved in last year. Every night I would hear her from the vacant lot, screaming the most pearl-clutching Afrikaans profanities at phantom companions. I would count the number of times she would shriek “Jou ma se….####!” until I could finally fall asleep.
On Sunday, May 31st, my favorite newspaper, The New York Times, published a list of nearly 100,000 names of the victims of COVID-19 in the United States. On its front cover were the names of 1,000 victims, along with their ages, locations, and a brief line from their obituaries.
I was struck by the array. Some of the lines read like poetry, some made me laugh aloud, and some made my heart ache in their brevity. I imagined each of the people behind these names, and I winced painfully at the thought of many of them dying alone, without their families surrounding them. This tribute from the Times affords them even the slightest recognition of a life lived and now concluded, with dignity.
The oldest one walked up to me. It was the Sunday afternoon of a three day music festival and everyone seemed keen to get outta dodge.
I was making my last trip from the campsite to my rental car. He looked as if he was playing a part he had only ever been told about but never given the script for. I watched him shake off his doubt and walk over to me, chest out and strutting, until he was standing right in front of me.
“Hello Madame,” he declared, “May I have some money? Please.”
She found comfort in the folds of the Metro paper.
She heard symphonies when the subway would screech.
The type of girl that remained steadfast in the assertion
That dandelions were flowers
And weeds were just seen as disobedient
To everyone else but her. Continue reading “aubergine”→
Cindered forehead kisses
From the The Lord Himself
Sitting point blank
Fogging up their third eye
With a thumb print of a robed stranger
announcing a Holier than thou prowess
For the day, at least Continue reading “Ash Wednesday”→