Image by Syarafina Yusof

eulogy

they don’t tell you what happens after. the ghosts that came, stuck on me and made my body a

haunting. a ghost named trembling, a ghost named burning, a ghost named fear. if i had died that

day, my mom would have a few more things to feel sad about. my brother an only child with a dead

sister. i’d give my books to kayla. i’d ask her to make a museum out of me, to scrape the walls of these

pages and let people eat if they were hungry, set flame to the words, make my body a hearth. if i had

died that day i’d know nothing of rosaries. the abortion of poems. that ghostly grasp. a timeline

where i am shaped like a cut, a wound, a stab, a holding. this prayer shaped like timothy. the chorus

chanting for god has not given me fear or timidity but of power and soundness and lovelove love till it runneth

over. what is survival if not death dreaming? i’ve lit a match, the smell of singed skin, myself sitting

in the sun of me, breathing oxygen into the ghosts that haunt me. the opposite of a burial is a

rooting in the soil. a eulogy made of fire to cauterize the living. this blessing has waited for me, the

blossoming and the burning and oh, the loving. to be haunted means you’re worth sticking around

for. there are still ghosts showing up to my parties. to be haunted is just another way to be alive.

ROSARIO SANTIAGO is a queer Boricua writer from Philadelphia. They enjoy writing about time- travel, memory, and girls falling in love. Their poetry has been published in mag 20/20, celestite poetry, and the 2022 OutWrite D.C Festival Journal. You can follow them on twitter @epistolarybot.

Image by Yaoqi