Happy Birthday! 

While on journey homebound: first stop to touch. To light a flame at the altar and repeat the mantra.

In the name of saints

Calvary cemetery gates open and the graves call us.

[SALAZAR] I am clearing away debris to let the name rise.

I am sitting beside Gram [unmarked]

remembering kitchen gossip, kitchen songs, kitchen smells.

I am clearing away roots.

I am speaking to Gram. Asking her for help. Please help those lost in the dark find their way.

[May this light guide those who can’t see]

Through tears and LA smog heat I turn the bend. I approach great grandmother–the mother-in-law. I am seated in her kitchen.

There are spinklers i conduct

on cue they cool the LA smog heat, adding a skip to my downbeat

I am suddenly seven running through LA smog summer

I laugh and part slowly in joy after glass stained eyes.

I forget to write on your birthday. Everyday is your birthday.

 

Happy 89th Gram!

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“How the fuck did that happen?”

I’m not going to explain the details. There is only enough time to fill the silence with words to define other words. We are speaking in ohs and ahs and mms to strike a chord. Bringing balance back before shock. The system is scarred by the violent winds shake our homes. We rose above the storm to watch the boulders quake. Where does the light cast shadows and where do the light shadows roam?

Home. A place we can say yes to. I am remembering the end of the beginning and then the slip. How easy it is to slip back into father’s daughter. Mother’s daughter. We are falling back into cycles and turning away from linear time. The sun dips behind the hills singing lullaby. There is a moment that is not worth mentioning. The suffering is less this way. This will die in memory. 

Where did you say yes to? There are tracks on the windshield and a turkey feather on the dash. We are shaking our heads at recognizing a colonialist national holiday. Our shadows pause to raise a hand, a fist.  We hold hands and form circles. I place gratitude into the center—my teachers, friends, lovers, the earth, the dry cracked stones crunch and the slip. 

There in the slip is the loss of ground. The body is taken with gravity without balance. The fall is the defining moment. How will we move to rise? Spring forth, pushing our way back up? A seedling that has taken root. How to hold your ground when all around is sky and stars?–so many stars raining down. Our souls naturally long to float.