My grandmother died when i was four. in a hospital while we all slept in her room, all of us children. My mother and her sisters had been gone for a few nights, time seemed infinite. I didn’t know what was happening. She’s dead. It told me as it stood by a plant, Laughed at me, at her.
Un bulto.
my mother tried to clothe me, the next day. i remember refusing the teal sweatpants she wanted to put underneath my dress when she told me that grandma was gone.
Si, mami. ya se. I tried to tell her that something at night had already told me. I just don’t remember what language I used
after her death one night, so dark I couldn’t hear the birds. the graveyard where she was buried a few blocks away. dogs barking. remembering the stories we told of a man who walked the streets with a chain. i walked through the house, parts of the house open to the moon where it could follow me
I climbed, the steps at night. My feet threatening to get stuck in the metal stairs. My mother said that my grandmother had become a star. i found a way to say goodbye.

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Melissa Castro Almandina is a Xicana poet and artist from the Southwest Side of Chicago. She is a member of Brown and Proud Press, a zine collective that serves as a platform for healing in POC communities and is a resident artist at AMFM Gallery. She facilitates poetry workshops on the Southwest Side of Chicago and debuted her hand bound zine of poetry entitled, Rose Quartz and Serpentine. She was a featured author at Pilsen Fest and is published in the Garland Court Review, Cuentos de Gringolandia, and Hooligan Magazine.

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