After Hearing of Maria’s Death

I saw her slice tomatoes as her eyes
ignored the tattoo of a cross between
every puree. Her brown palm- fading- dyed
dark blue. Did he cut her hand with a steamed

rusty safety pin? A broken paper
clip? Carving such a symbol of higher
forgiveness as the pain soon then tapered
into calm at the center of her sigh?

A news reporter said they found her in
a closet, crumpled like an old travel
bag; been there for days. Heavy to begin-
emptied of her now- he must have marveled

at her sunken face. This woman beaten,
ill-placed, like a raincoat out of season.


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