Issue 165, Spring 2003
I. The New Orphan
Why do we visit the dead when all we see is where we buried them?
I went to the liquor cabinet and filled my empty jar with a
bit of each, called it mayonnaise and began to sip, trying to
get caught for something other than this. My deeds are negligible
and death is strong. The rest comes easy.
My choices—to move
—to take him clutching and humping
—to ask for a last name
These choices reflected on makeshift graves. But once I placed
fake flowers at the foot, I didn't have to resturn as often. It
was spooky, comical how the children's graves were decorated
with pinwheels and how the candle-to-heaven grew back
This cemetery was a regular circus.
When I visit it I have a view of the freeway. The transparency
of my mom kissing the coffin always shimmers above the St.
Augustine grass. Though that hillside was a good place to
dance, the gates closed before they lowered the lights.
My way to account for loss is to cast its shadow on what is
here. I needed to insert the pain into another's creases-how
they glisten. And into another's sideburns-how trimmed
they were on Mark. When he laughed I heard my father sing,
"Hey, hey, you, you get off of my cloud." And then we,
Mark and I, began to stay up all night, when the roads were
empty. I sent postcards pretending to be somewhere other
than home. How he could drive and hold my reflection at the
same time. On The Pacific Coast Highway we entered each
stage of Platonic love. It was inevitable that we'd love ourselves
more and disregard each other. Our bodies were different.
Our reflections did not match. He forgot that I would be
there in the mornings until I stepped into my own shoes. At
these times on the highway,