Seamless Monument: A Year of Vigil for the Pandemic Dead—and Beyond – Regina Sandler-Phillips

“In early June 2020 I made my first pilgrimage by subway to the Brooklyn disaster morgue perimeter. I have returned every 10 to 25 days since then, on behalf of all our vigil-keepers across the country.

Standing quietly outside the chain-link fence, walking slowly from one
vantage point to another around the end of the pier, I bear witness to
the morgue trailers surrounded by abandoned warehouses and dilapidated hangars, cracked asphalt and roaring motors…

At one angle I can glimpse the Statue of Liberty out in the harbor beyond, her torch raised over the morgue trucks even during the hours that remain uncovered by our human vigil.”

More at Lion’s Roar

Cortés Burning the Aviaries – Monica Rico

Last night, I let in all the birds.
I told my grandmother to stay awhile.
I said, stop disguising yourself as wind.
You are not the only one who can fly.

I told my grandmother to stay awhile.
There is something in the wind. I recognize your voice.
You are not the only one who can fly.
Have you seen Montezuma’s aviaries—still green, full of breath?

There is something in the wind. I recognize your voice.
You talk to me all at once with your mouth full.
Have you seen Montezuma’s aviaries—still green, full of breath?
Cuídate, I thought you were blessing me.

You talk to me all at once with your mouth full.
I don’t believe in god but I do believe in Mexicans.
Cuídate, I thought you were blessing me.
I am sorry I picked all your red tulips.

I don’t believe in god but I do believe in Mexicans.
I said, stop disguising yourself as wind.
I am sorry I picked all your red tulips.
Last night, I let in all the birds.

MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, JULY – William Matthews

MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, JULY

Haze. Three student violists boarding
a bus. A clatter of jackhammers.
Granular light. A film of sweat for primer
and the heat for a coat of paint.
A man and a woman on a bench:
she tells him he must be psychic,
for how else could he sense, even before she knew,
that she’d need to call it off? A bicyclist
fumes by with a coach’s whistle clamped
hard between his teeth, shrilling like a teakettle
on the boil. I never meant, she says.
But I thought, he replies. Two cabs almost
collide; someone yells fuck in Farsi.
I’m sorry, she says. The comforts
of loneliness fall in like a bad platoon.
The sky blurs—there’s a storm coming
up or down. A lank cat slinks liquidly
around a corner. How familiar
it feels to feel strange, hollower
than a bassoon. A rill of chill air
in the leaves. A car alarm. Hail.

WILLIAM MATTHEWS