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.