Originally Posted on The Yale Herald - Medium via UWIRE

It all happens here, on a street called Caminito.

Every bad thing breathes in its first bit of air,

Selfish and gray in its spirit, and it takes,

Billowing and filling up rooms until there isn’t any air left.

Painted-blue patios become scenes of destruction,

Places where only the grittiest souls return,

And, even then, their eyes are open

And they carry rabbit’s feet in their palms.

The paint peels,

But a blueness of the mind remains,

Rising and mixing with the gray air,

A joint occupation of the lungs,

A mixed asphyxiation.

Walking here does a damage to the heart,

As though God is mashing the thing of His creation

Between two unearthly hands,

Abusing the organ born to love wholly.

A glass table, warped and marbled by dust and sunlight, sits

Empty outside on the deck,

Plastic chairs left crooked and a screen door slid left,

Etchings in the place-memory.

Place-memory, the bed that commands visions,

The kitchen that cannot exist without it,

Dictates every grief-laden footstep, each burdened jerk of the arm

To defend someone — an apparition, maybe — no longer there.

Armchairs, plaid-fabric sewn, wait here,

Refugees from Grandfather’s law office,

Set just so, a brother angled toward his sister in V-shaped agony,

Facing an old portrait, wiped of dust each morning;

A long and wrinkled face, baring fangs,

Haunting a living room, unsafe for the living.

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