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an elegy in progress
by sandra sanchez

nona, you’re good with words. can you write

something for Papi? we need someone to read

for the velorio. it can be in english. he loves—

loved your writing. sorry. we know it’s hard.

i think about dying & then i think about Papi’s

gabetta. a brown deteriotting thing thrown out

for the city to keep. it held loose change & old

business cards with a list of birthdays on the back.

nona, we have to go. ya levantate. we need

flowers. don’t forget the water bottle. clean

the tombstone. rip the weeds out. vamos.

we have to go home soon. say goodbye.

guilt shakes me awake on the nights i forget

to pray to Papi. when did breathing become

this difficult? i dream of kneeling on rice,

bloodied hands held above my head in penance.

nona, can we sell the truck? we know you want-

ed to keep it. we can’t afford to fix it. please

don’t be sad. we’ll keep the seat cushion for you.

the money will help pay the rent. please say yes.

i try not to think about dying. i google

El Salvador instead. learn about el Flor

de Izote. imagine taking its white petals,

like cumulus clouds, and devouring them.

bio photo .jpg

Sandra Sanchez is a Salvi-American writer born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She is a first-generation graduate of Franklin and Marshall College with a B.A in English (Creative Writing). Her work explores the ways people continue. She’s interested in experimenting with genre and therefore doesn’t confine herself to a specific one. Her work appears in Tropics of Meta and Touchstone Literary Magazine. When not reading or working at the Sims Library of Poetry, you can find her scrolling through twitter @writingisrad

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