abstract 3

By Fernando Gallegos

I remember
When I was a gravedigger

I wore thick canvas coats
I always stomped my boots at thresholds

Mud, dirt, rocks, sickness, sadness
Released before entering, home

I remember the calloused long fingers
Never kissed by plump, youthful lips

The disgust in the eyes that would
Accidentally lock on mine

Until my wrinkled, sunken eyes would
Without thought, look down, away

I remember standing in the grays
Singing, melodies of lost loves and forgotten whispers

I measured plots, pushed shovels, onto fresh moist dirt

and laid coffins down in the early days of February

Most people choose to die
Early in the year, in the cold

Maybe to let the spring heal
Those that are left behind, alone

I’ve seen the lives,
After lives
After body
After condolences
After hugs
After the clean black cars
Have left

And thick, cold chains in my hands
Secure the gates

Most people choose to die
Early in the year, in the cold

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