November 15, 2022

by: Angelica Capili, 11C

It wasn’t raining when Great Aunt Sophie was lowered to the worms,
Snakes, scorpions, and horribly polite monsters sleeping beneath my feet.
It was a very sunny day; too hot and too humid,
too much like a fistful of vengeance was lined
In the spaces between the stars and a wire was severed,
The birds are gone, and we’re all the casualties.

Three hours ago, I woke from a nightmare:
That there was never sunshine at the graveyard, but instead, storming
balls of flaming concrete against my nape and back, ribs, shoulders—
But my stomach was cold like stones and spirals
And the grass was sick with biohazards
And she was wearing a crimson dress in the summer.
Silently, I whisper to the wayward winds blowing south:
Why sleep to dream of memories?

It is seventeen days, fifty-six minutes, and seven seconds past
her death day; scorching sun, scorching winds,
But I recall vividly still her low-toned laughter, her misty grins,
And the crow’s feet carved daintily into the edge of her eyes.
Perhaps I swallowed creosote when I last saw her sallow face;
Like she was sleeping— painted lips, crimson rouge—
that crumpled aspect on her brow long since dissipated—
As if she never sneered at the stars, the sun, the sea—
Like she never stared at the sky outside her windowsill
And sang odes to the hummingbirds, deaf to the world.
Like she never once stepped on rain and danced.

Great Aunt Sophie mourned the most out of us. She’s gone, she mourns—
She mourns before we learn to sing threnodies:
—the brass euphonium she had grown too frail to shoulder
—the broken bike behind the backroom hatch
—the grandchildren she can never see again
The calla lilies fell like waterfalls; I heard grandmother wail her name.
Feet burning, blood booming; had she always been so human?

The heavens thunder; the moon mourns,
And I fill the gaps in my chest with sharp metal sticks
Like how beavers would build their homes
Because I refuse to be washed away by broken dams,
drowned by a deluge or burned by fire
The way Sophie was washed away,
Drowned in sickness, ashes to ashes.

Beneath a star, fingers clasped
whispering Hail Mary around an absent fire,
Dear God, won’t you weep for her?
Remember her as we do: in her crimson dress, guileless smile
Let her dance barefoot on storm clouds
As we sing odes to a hummingbird outside the window.
There— there!

It’s finally raining.????: Janus Dula, 11D

#SulatAranzan #LikhangAranzan #DefendersAndCompanionsOfTruth
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