Eulogies
Featured Work:
We try so hard to remember last words.
Just an image of the greatest man we’ve ever known,
smiling
for each of us personally,
in a blue Electrician’s uniform. 
His hero outfit.
And when Mike died,
la familia was wounded.
All of us bleeding out of our stomachs and mouths.
Catching and smearing each other’s blood.
Drinking blood to calm nerves.
He fought death for about a week or so.
It was an expensive fight.
When the bills came in,
he figured 
It was cheaper to die.
…And when Danny died,
it was long over due 
according to my mother.
He might not make it to Christmas.
But he did.
Two years in a row.
On his third stand,
he lasted until August.
Died like Elvis.
I know he wasn’t ready.
There were a few more stories to tell,
girlfriends to have,
jokes to give,
and one more trip to Oxnard, Ca.

…And when Jody died,
it was expected and relieving for some.
The few who wept at his casket 
were privileged to know 
a street demon hero.
When I think of him now,
I see a man 
standing behind a tree,
peeking over to see
his ex-wife 
dropping their daughter off at school.
Glimpses of his daughter Daeyna
were never enough. 
His smile,
was just as dangerous as his scowl.
…And when Jefe died, I swear I no longer knew this man.
He looked like a white wrung towel that was
twisted and gnarled.
Every drop, wicked, 
a gift to the grass,
then hung on a clothesline
facing the familiar sun.
If I was given one wish,
I’d wish for him to tell a story.
Any story.
We shared a gift.
Silence.
When he returned to the earth
that too was a gift.
…And when Tony died,
the bones of these westside streets 
fractured,
and nothing ever healed.

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