Monseñor Romero

Today is Día de los Muertos. I took the children to visit Father Bill.
As usual we shared chocolate and pan de muerto. We poured a lot of
chocolate on his piece of bread and the ground around his grave
swallowed greedily. We could have poured a river. When father Bill
died a river, each tear like no other. I cried for each sister and brother,
for the ones who were children and for the ones who were grown. I
cried for me. I cried for you. I cried for my children, for things they
know nothing about. War leaves no time for grieving. My right to
mourn came with Father’s Bill’s fall. At first glance the US and El
Salvador have nothing in common. Then time revealed the violence of
poverty, the violence of drugs, the violence of guns and like Monseñor
said, the violence of love.

More by Claudia Castro Luna

Assiduously

From a coffee cup’s sweet bitterness into cold wind swept knowing that the place you search and yearn for is nowhere, no street names, no city gate. No degrees nor longitudinal measures to speak of. A compass can be useless when you are lost. Nowhere multiplies in your chest ravenous, like yeast. It hurts. The exact second, your shadow on the pavement. Sometimes your life is a minute ahead and a few days behind the place you want to be. Sometimes things align and you want to tear a piece of the shadow as you would a piece from a loaf of bread. But this place you search has no replicable terrain, no map. It moves as you move. A shapeshifter with a tropic of memory, a tropic of fear, a meridian to decide you can and an equator to know you choose.

María Cristina Hanging Chrysalis

What would I do
for a smidgeon
of your rebellion María?
As a woman to trust
the halo of your intuition
I know you know
courage plummets
easily from cliffs of doubt
both imposed and self harvested—
How to make manifest
what the mind knows
but the eye cannot yet see?
How to pluck Hope 
from the terraced gardens
where it grows?
I think about the nature of change
the transfiguration from grain to woman
the audacity of salt to embolden water into ocean
the urge to break free

Epicurean Matters

International and East 14th Tacos Mi Rancho.
International and 22nd Tacos Sinaloa. International
and 24th Tacos Mi Gloria. International Boulevard
asphalt corrido of carnitas and pupusas de chicharrón.
I.C.E. cuotas and remittance receipts. International
and 54th Tacos Los Amigos. Boa de carne asada. Boca
de lengua frita. Census projections. Future vote tally.
And heart, corazón de rábano, red and crunchy and
pulsing with the energy of all of Guadalupe’s children
who are many, muchos, son muchos, muchos somos.
International and 80th Flor de Jalisco. On each
corner, a four wheeled sentinel guarding the memory
of home. Stand in line, home comes wrapped up,
calientito, inside a tortilla. International and 90th Tacos
Union. And though warm, the bitter seeps in.