For the Former THings Have Passed Away

S.T. Eleu

IMAGE:  Benjamin Erlandson

S.T. Eleu(they/them) has been a musician, teacher, and consummate Vulcan. Raised in Vegas then exiled to Chicago, autism is their default universe, and though sparsely populated, it is a glorious place to escape to, write in, and display an impressive collection of action figures.

– In memoriam

Julia Mae

wiped the blood of her father

 

from the floor tiles

from the mint green refrigerator

from the bullet hole in the paneling

from her one and only checkered button day dress

from her worn and tired and spent and frayed

 

rag doll

 

because her mother told her to

 

no sense

in making the police do extra work.

 

Jules

stared at a grizzled man’s chaw-stained cowboy boots

as old money changed older hands

 

$50 for a 15-year-old bride

 

because her family needed

one less mouth to feed

 

and society in perpetuity

and women

and such.

 

Judy

dodged fists, psychological warfare, machine-gunned

words

 

words of one who thought himself King

words of a King of Kings

words of The King

 

return to sender, address unknown

no such person, no such zone.

 

Ma

rocked in her chair

crocheting and frogging

crocheting and frogging

crocheting and smoking and frogging

crocheting and smoking and drinking and frogging

crocheting and smoking and drinking and tripping and frogging

 

and when the demons left

gathered her children and taught them

 

how to read and write

how to pray and plead

how to wield a Bible

how to curse

 

the law

the sun

her.

 

Lia

dragged herself across state lines one

winter’s noon

and divorced the desert

 

and its fool’s gold

and its scorpions and vultures

and its stans and ralphs and kens

 

exorcism

in absentia.

 

Julia

emerged from exile

secondhand store polished

 

hand in hand with a new old man

on his own path of redemption and healing

 

a family forged

on equal terms.

 

Mom

hugged a prodigal child

 

with the force of a thousand mama bears

no cancer could diminish

 

when

 

after decades of absence

 

the door opened

and out flew all former things

 

for it was the age of healing...

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