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Jacaranda Sutra

By Maia Elsner

for Mami




Some things remain. The sunlight crowding out

the trees. The jacaranda shaking itself

lover by lover. Tears fall as violet rain.


At the family gathering, there are tortas

& frijoles. We fill a space discussing anything 

else – Jorge’s friend, beaten and bled, found 


dead in his departamento

after reporting to the police. 

And Raquel who fainted 


at 7cm dilation and again 

when forcing her placenta out. 

Mami sits frail in jacaranda-filtered light.


I do not know how to say goodbye.

I eat my feelings up.



I leave one Sunday morning and arrive

a day later and it is still

Sunday. The layover in Miami is full of


rehydrated chicken, jade-apples polished

by beetle mucus. Between Departures

& Destination, I receive 


blessings: bout of sneezing, blocked

nose. I count pennies. 

I read the Florida papers –


another man sitting on death row.

I pass the gate, wait, wonder

what remains beyond 


this unfinishedness. Someone coughs.

Another clears his throat.

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