grandpa, hello grandma angel (chango)


By David Diaz

mom kept your bedroom unchanged
for ten years         the turgid brown recliner
contrasted your deflated organ system
and was the last thing that you touched
curled up like a child in its bucket  watching HBO
the pockets of your folded parts still warm


it took three EMTs to clumsily scoot
your body to the ambulance
   young uniform advised mom take us

to the other room but nosey children persevere
           nosey children watch legs spread like daddy-long
           because  you were too tall for a plastic pouch
              our halls too narrow for them to wheel you out


as a kid I tried to make your room my own
             watch batman daily on your dustgrey tv/vcr
             rifle through your closet and your dresser
             smell your wallets and your leather belts
but I was not allowed to change the sheets or alter placements
             sustain since mom swore she broke your ribcage

   when she tried to reinvent you
so she swilled in guilt as any daughter ought to


three months before you watched your last De La Hoya replay
Northridge shook like vocal chords                  falsetto
screeches breaking earth and homewares down the fault-line
                         and we, children, huddled underneath the dining table

            we all saw grandma’s arms guarding the edge
             see-through ultraviolet sleeves                       she the keeper of weak
beckoning her lover to the line of cypress trees


David Diaz lives and works in L.A. He recently completed his MFA from Long Beach State, where he also completed his undergrad. His work has been published by Bird’s Thumb, Silver Birch Press, The San Pedro Review, American Mustard, and Tiny Splendor Press.