A Vigil In San Francisco by Aurelia Lorca

Doves and Flora by Kelly Louise Judd
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A Vigil In San Francisco

We gave you a vigil in front of the lamp-post
            in Union Square where you spent the last of your days.

*                                    *                                    *

It still does not seem real:

            On Good Friday at sunset, the night
            before the blood moon,
            a man’s voice left a message
            from an unknown number,
“This is an emergency phone call,
I have some very sad news.”

            He asked if I was next of kin,
            did I know next of kin?

I was no longer your girlfriend,
            but always your friend.

You had died on April Fool’s Day.

I’m still waiting for someone to say April Fool’s.

*                                    *                                    *

                        Upon first glance,
there is little that is welcoming in Union Square.
All around are convex edges and sharp surfaces-
metallic benches, concrete boxes,
            shapes that are un-natural, unfriendly.
The statue of Victory Pillar has curvatures,
            but it they are high above, out of reach.
It is a place of squares upon squares upon squares,
            and little that is concave, welcoming, or spherical,
and the homeless are who no one wants to see.

*                                    *                                    *

                        The Union Square security guards
allowed all the candles, the bottles of vodka.
They even attended, and donated to your funeral fund,
because you always had a smile
and never gave them any trouble.

I could do nothing, really, but stand in front of your lamp-post,
                                    take a few shots of vodka,
            and read my poems about things that became
            words and turn back into things again-
And then the words from the same book I am teaching this semester,
“What does it profit a man to gain the whole world?
                        Our father, who art in nature.”


Aurelia Lorca

Aurelia Lorca is the pen-name of a woman from the borderlands of the Monterey Peninsula who has been motionless in the twist of time.