Happy Birthday to you!

I woke with a start, a smile.

Dear Gram,

Today you’re 90. What does that feel like? To be so close to 100. To be here and not.

We lit a candle and prayed. Please don’t let the swirl in the sea, the eye devour us.

Keep us safe. Keep. Us.



Since this is all we know.

And yet. We honor los muertos.


Tonight on top of some mountain, under some sky, in a garden or forest.

We’ll sing happy birthday, happy birthday…


Here. In the heart of fall, we begin to harvest what will keep us through the winter.


Can we undo and unlearn and forgive? Unravel and loosen. Knots.


Surrender to summer’s farewell kiss.

The last drive to the Oregon coast before fall.



I think Bello sees you more than I can.


Looking off and away. He returns always with love.


I love you, don’t you ever forget. Mija.


I will make avena and arroz con leche. I will stay warm.






Gram’s almost 90

Dear Gram,

Everything is limbo. A bardo: an inbetween the inhale, a gasp. Letting the air out your mouth after you hold your breath. At the top.

I will play you a song on my clarinet. I will inhale deep belly breath and blow. My saliva will drip drop out the bell bottom.

I will sing. I will climb a small mountain. I will cry. I will light a candle.

The sun will set. It will rain. The sun will shine.

It’s almost your birthday.

I will always love you. Don’t you ever forget.


With so much love and gratitude–because without you, I would not be here,



And look, wherever you are, whoever you are: my words introduce the gloriousness of T Begley and Olga Broumas. They write into the space of Jamais Vu–one day, I’ll see you again.