Poet's Corner: Dia De Los Muertos, My Love

dia deWhat would you feed me, what complements

the sweet amber whiskey you pour on my tomb?

Remember me with persimmons, pomegranates,

ripe amorous figs. Cut through a rare skirt-steak

ancho-rubbed, sealed with oils of poblano and olive.

 

Paint my skull rich turquoise

like the deepest part of the Colorado River,

flowers of lime zinnia, hot fuchsia, and hibiscus.

Etch the orbital regions in filigree like all those

bad boy tattoos, shadow the hollows

with motorcycle exhaust

and the smoke of all the fires we set.

 

With your tiny scissors cut silhouettes

in ocean-colored tissue. Scenes of us

baptizing our union in the Pacific, welcoming

our devotion into the world, gasping

for the same oxygen communion

 

as the night we freed the monarchs

of our spines to La Luna, my hair the final gate

coaxing us upward

annihilating the lonely solitude,

that was the before of us.

 

Shower me with the husk of papery tomatillos

until I’m sticky as unwrapped fruit,

drape me in maize husk,

steamed with stoked embers.

This is remembrance,

 

pulsing with seeds of a new generation.

See the saints dancing

in the Aztec-night wind,

opening the floor,

closing what’s left of their eyes,

the final burn in their cheeks

 

slipping into the void,

seeping into bone.

Listen to the thin branches hitting glass:

they’re tapping their distal ivory fingertips

in hypnotic applause.

 

Editor’s note: Kierstin Bridger, a winner of Telluride Arts’ Mark Fischer Poetry Prize, is a regular contributor  to Telluride Inside… and Out. She is nothing if not arch and, like painter Edward Hopper, a keen observer of our solitude, for better or for worse, always pregnant with possibilities.

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