Todos los Santos
& rice cakes & candle wax
for the others. Who couldn’t be
canonized, for lack of miracle
or papers or because
a body was never found.
For those who lived
by the brick, died
by the brick. Who were shot
playing by fences growing
out of the red clay like mais
or sugarcane, who threw cinderblocks
like Olympians at policemen. For those
who flew places where other,
unspoken tongues were spoken, who raised
children on one end
of a telephone cable. Who died
on the other side of the world
so when their body was flown back
their people could wrap them
in the whitest of sheets. Linen
for the dead, satin for the almost —
and it is true:
living among such violence
renders sons and mothers
we say their names:
DeLarverie, Rivera, Shtewi,
Rizal, Laude, delos Santos —
from every time and place,
we say, our saints of rice paddies,
waxwood & rubble.
Two scientists took caesium clocks into the sky
to prove that time can be slowed by movement.
During takeoff I hold the arms of the chair next to me
to remember how speed can stretch a body. Alternatively I
run five miles a day to spend at least part of my step
off the ground. I am interested in any machine
that causes levitation. I take the downtown 1
to save walking six blocks. The 3 to New Lots
for Cole or Matt or Tyler. And
back again because he won’t call a car. Sometimes
I leave first just to say it.
The train home stretching over
the whole night.
Jay Julio is a multi-instrumentalist and writer based in Harlem. They enjoy rhythms, ube ice cream, and being brown. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Winter Tangerine Review, West Trade Review, Rathalla Review, and Dream Pop Journal, among others.