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

martyrs. Therefore

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.