Yellow wallpaper peels behind faded pictures in dusty frames, falling to the floor in ashen drifts—ephemeral-- of births and wakes, stabbing to the heart like first kisses or cold sips of Mexican Coke but dulled from memory (and time) like giftless Christmases and old housedresses, drying on the line. What ghosts roam these halls, Haunting bowls of waxed fruit and glass doorknobs, lingering ‘round saints’ alters, dust bunnies, and jelly jar glasses like palls or the bitter of burnt almonds. As a pale pink echo of rose peeks through the air’s must, a voice whispers, “Recuerdas esto, ahora,” leaving me to chuckle and smile.
How silly it is to mourn life as we live it.
Caja de memoria
Fingers, gingerly sifting through ecos de lavanda, praise spirits of modest treasures in silent prayer. Ribbon-tied letters. A lock of hair tied with blue ribbon. Viejos dólares de plata. Tarjetas de oración a los santos (two for St. Jude). Pressed flowers in wax paper. A faded scapular. Old report cards (Never was any good at Math). Broken reading glasses. Una camelia encerada and the smell of her. Amén.
David Estringel is a Xicanx writer/poet with works published in literary publications, such as The Opiate, Azahares, Cephalorpress, Lahar, Poetry Ni, DREICH, Rigorous, Somos En escrito, Hispanecdotes, Ethel, The Milk House, Beir Bua Journal, and The Blue Nib. David received his BA in English at the University of Texas at Brownsville and his MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Currently, he is a working on his PhD in English (World Literature) and a Graduate Instructor of Composition at Texas A&M-Commerce. His first collection of poetry and short fiction Indelible Fingerprints was published in April 2019, followed his second and third poetry collections Blood Honey and Cold Comfort House in 2022. David has written four poetry chapbooks, Punctures (2019), PeripherieS (2020), Eating Pears on the Rooftop (2022), and Golden Calves (coming March 2023). His new book of micro poetry little punctures, a collaboration with UK illustrator, Luca Bowles, will be released in December 2022. Connect with David on Twitter @The_Booky_Man and his website www.davidaestringel.com.