TRITINA FOR JOSELES, FOR MIRRORS, FOR THOSE I WON’T KNOW, FOR ASHES & RISING
in memoriam Joseles De La Cruz Ornelas, 1984-2016
Once I tried to write a book about a mirror,
but I got too distracted by the dirt
that clung to my own body. I named dirt “failure”
then. I was terrified of failure
then, though it was all I knew: my mirror.
This week I don’t care: I learned too much from dirt
this week, Joseles in the dirt, the dirt
on other men’s faces. The police know failure
but don’t understand yet. We are all so scared of mirrors,
but this is a mirror in dirt, and I refuse more failure.
SHAMALA GALLAGHER is the author of the forthcoming collection Late Morning When the World Burns (The Cultural Society). Her work appears in Black Warrior Review, Gulf Coast, Poetry, The Rumpus, and Shenandoah. She lives in Athens, Georgia, with her family.