She's gone.

Luisa Moreno Soto 1970's

She's gone.
She left us, and now she feels no pain.
She's everywhere.
In my mouth, and in my breath, and in my grandfather's Sopa a la Criolla.

Screams of judgment and salt levels and what about your diabetes?!  rummage as we bite.
The fatty substance on the meat is delicious.
He talks about her like she's on vacation, and tells me that she's a good woman.

We both try not to cry, and instead glorify the soup.
Esta muy rico abuelo! 
Te pasaste abuelo!
Si, la yuca me saliĆ³ muy bien! 
El choclo jugoso! 

Quieres limonsito? 
Aver hijita.

And I press the lime between my fingers and makes circles around his bowl.
He watches how my hands are steady, and sighs because he shakes.

She's gone.
She left us, and now she feels no pain.
She's everywhere.
In our ears, and in the corners of the house, echoes of spirits whispering she is missed.

I tell him as we drink the broth, if he wants me to save the bones.
Yes, that yellow dog will come by.
That dog! I said, he was here during the wake.
My grandfather giggles.
He was! He stuck his head through the gate and watched Mami from the door. I made eye contact with him, and he ran away.

You did? he says.
I did!

That dog! (x2)

I guess he knows we're sad.
I guess he can miss her too.

She's gone.
She left us, and now she feels no pain.
She's everywhere.
In our arms, and in our embrace, and there is something humorless about our faces.

They pulled the mattress out while we were sleeping. I think he was trying to protect his children.
They didn't see it that way.
But in the midst of chaos we pulled out albums and jewelry and looked through her clothes and talked about when she wore what, and what she said, and what we could take.

Remnants. Pieces. Incomplete. Stuff.

We miss her.
We sigh.
But now she feels no pain.
She's gone.
But she lives inside our hearts, our laughter, and our stories.

It's okay to laugh?
In this house? It's all she ever wanted!

Laugh
laugh
riete, pues.

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