Cimabue, Goya, Beginnings
I carry a dark necklace around my neck.
It’s painted on.
No one has taken notice.
They think it’s an outline or an odd shadow.
No one has stared longer than a few seconds.
I’ll tell you.
I didn’t know where to put all the fragments of the novel
that family never finished. It had such sweet beginnings,
but it grew umber with a one-eyed Madonna hovering
over the lampshade.
So many years, I whispered to her
come to me,
listen to me,
She would appear to me with gold-leaf
around her braids and seven daggers erect over the heart;
perhaps the last desires; the first real words
escaping from my grandmother’s grave, trying to touch
my hair as I sat at seventeen, writing, inventing her memory.
Her voice was so loving,
now, all that remains is this broken leash
of black sparkles.
Juan Felipe Herrera
(Taken from the book, Half of the World in Light)