A poem by Ximena Gómez, translated from the Spanish by the author and George Franklin.

The chair, the desk, the bookshelves,
The air filter, Bach’s music.
Your ashes, Mother, inside
A wooden box, books in front.
On top, a handwritten card
That I never gave to you.
Months ago, I opened it,
Found little pieces of bone,
Grit, fine green stones, strange odor
Of old books, of soil, iron.
There, not sleeping, not resting,
Lifeless between the books and
The clutter.  Still there, among
Dust, neglect. Someone speaks from
The next room, one who arrived
After you died.  It was the
Anniversary of your
Death, open jars by the bath,
Pots spread around the kitchen…
Chaos.  He’s resting now on
My bed, eats at my table,
Drinks wine, laughs.  Suddenly,
I smell your talcum powder,
Johnson’s soap on your blue dress.