It was the day of the dead. We pitched
our discreet rows of canvas mausoleums;
bodies tightly wrapped, so static and colorful.
Little pyres blinking and shuddering beyond.
Our crisp marshmallows left in brusque piles,
dirt strewn and stale crackers nestled beside.
An offering begins as something accidental;
spare or convenient. Our journey is tragically
performative. We come here to celebrate
the beauty of a place we pretend to not know
but know all of the time in our soles, at our fingers.
Exhaustion slinks over the brush in a night way.
Death, a ghost story pillowmumbled, ambles
like a light wind. My brother dozes against
the damp skin of a tent wall; eyes closed,
he only knows the ground’s heavy stomach.
Perhaps, through a gash in the fabric, the stars.
There is not as much barking
as you would think. There is
the nudity aspect, although
“naked” is a human word.
There is a lot of bearing
as in to deal, and baring
as in of teeth, and bearing
as in sometimes we are initially
mistaken for bears, which is
mostly convenient, especially
in Switzerland—which has
a robust history of indicting
wolf-charmers and their kin.
You may charm all of the bears
you would like.
The moon clock moves with a kind
of pouncing. We are called
“supernatural,” but most bodies
are controlled by the lunar cycle:
the tide, the stars, the fertility
of all budding things. It is
a natural state. Our name
rationalizes our transition,
makes it beautiful
Christina Beasley is a poet and public servant in Washington, DC. She received her master’s degree from Georgetown University and bachelor’s from George Washington University. Her poetry is forthcoming in Obsidian, and has appeared in Collision, The Binnacle, and Streetlight. She has done residencies and conferences with The Virginia Quarterly Review, Barrelhouse Camp, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and Southern Illinois University. She performs regularly with DC’s Poetry Brothel.