“Dying is an art.
Like everything else,
I do it exceptionally well.
I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I have a call.”
― Sylvia Plath, Ariel
— Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
— Conchitina Cruz
Salt by Carlos Quijon
1. The beginning, dirt: the distance between time and matter. There is the specific obsolescence that the sea requires. Talk of fish and memory, of the infinite erasures of the sea.
2. Despite the wind blowing and memories lodged in your throat, speak of the first boat ride, the necessity of the finitude of experience, of time.
3. Ask why the sea is always a metaphor, what do you see? – the discovery of landscape, the perfect time to remember. The sea always trying to lose what is in it: a vehicle, a thought, what you ate the hour before, the hour which you will also forget, the lessons how to float.
4. Let the word dirt be a metaphor for someone the sea took, mistaken as salt. Someone you remember saying the sea is beautiful. Say, would it make any difference?
5. Despite the wind and the loss and the metaphor.
6. When people discovered salt, like what they did when they saw the landscape and the sea, they wanted to know who left it. They wanted someone to thank, someone to blame when they discovered its taste and how it felt in an open wound.
7. After the metaphor is the fact, the experience. The sea losing even itself and time. You left home and wanted to be lost.
8. The sea is calm because it forgets. The dirt is calm because it is forgotten.
9. Ask your mother, who married again after a year, After the discovery of salt, how much has the sea changed?
10. The sea and its infinite erasures, the sea and the infinity and depth of loss.
Each night she lies patiently in fire,
Blood thick, body dissolving.
Dissatisfaction is religion.
She plants it and prays. She cuts
His meat and licks blood from the knife.
Some nights he stumbles
Into her grief, which tries
To drown him like an invisible well.
He is a wolf with no teeth,
He is a blind soldier
Shooting everything, he is
An ear of corn beneath the beaks of crows.
If only sorrow had shape
He could climb it like rope
To the attic where their marriage waits.
Husband and wife
— they touch, recede.
Four Lines by Marc Gaba
A red dress by Conchitina Cruz
Not rust, she says to me in the mirror.
Not cinammon, or, god forbid, fulvous.
Not quite ruby or cherry, maybe carmine, maybe crimson.
Vermilion, I say, and I put the word on.