I am grunting along the 60, returning
from Calvary Mortuary in East LA
where I walked into the wrong
services. My good friend’s mom
suddenly gone and me wandering halls
looking for the moon: Luna, last name Luna?
Finding my place I prayed the rosary, got lost
again on the way to the graveside.
Have you ever been in a funeral procession
on the freeway? It’s as chaotic as you’d think.
A sad line of confusion, stolid metal
husks whirring past, sweaty faces
ballooned against windows yelling
and pointing and no one is sure
what is going on
and just when you think you have it,
you pass a man standing on the roof
of his house with a red broom.
He lifts thin avocado branches
like he is changing a baby,
dragging his broom in a wide circle,
so wide you think for a moment
that he is sweeping the merciless
horizon just beyond
the roof’s edge. I’m afraid
this is not an upper-class poem—
there are people who have died
suddenly and without insurance
and men standing on roofs
and graffiti on every wall and work
missed without pay and hours
spent sweating in traffic
with a broken air conditioner
waiting to say I’m sorry, I’m so sorry
and knowing it’s not enough.