time doesn't make sense anymore
She counts the weekdays on her fingers
The name doesn't matter
every day is the same.
What matters is who is with you,
that's what the days should be called.
She laughs to herself.
has transformed her
into a young, carefree woman
She giggles as the pain
occupies every cell of her body.
She is refusing her meals,
Then all day, she will sip on the Jarrito I brought her
Nibbles now and then on a chocolate cream pie
I show her the night-time photographs
of the take-off and landing of a trip to Mexico
after a few slides,
she asks are those electricity-breathing dragons?
I say yes and she laughs happy at the revelation
Then she covers her eyes
like the little girl she has become in illness
she is scared, she says.
The speed of the airplanes are making me dizzy.
So I stop the slide-show.
and we continue talking
how she is not afraid
how the night is the best time to live
how the nurses are hurting her feet
when she needs to be massaged with tenderness
The nurse walks in plops another meal on the counter
and Socorro ignores her and the food.
She starts again
I'm not afraid to die
I'm afraid to leave you behind
I don't want to go
until everyone is safe
until everyone is together again.
I will wait, too.
She stares out the window,
knows all the cars.
She sees Rafa drive up in his work truck,
tells me. Rafa's here!
She lays on her back
her hair thinned by the radiation
Einstein was right
one day all time will go in reverse
Today Coco is going back in time
she's becoming a frail baby girl
giggles at Rafa's silly jokes
she is curling up
her feet become slender boats
her hands becoming mesh bones with fronds of skin
She is waiting to be bathed
we ask over and over
after three hours of asking
she finally gets her bath
Then she puts on lipstick, blush
puts on a purple blouse,
wraps a burgundy colored silk scarf slacks
and lays there in bed
looking like an Elizabeth Taylor
waiting for a man, her man, to feed her grapes
and rub her feet.
Socorro has become butterfly and cocoon
she has been migrant caterpillar
Now she is becoming the beautiful woman again
She who disobeyed her mother
and ran away with the man she loved
Today she is disobeying everyone
she will not runaway
Now we are all running to her
the last matriarch of the six women
who created the people
who created the land
who created the wind
who created the waters
from their wombs
from her campesina hands
from her side
Socorro has become all six matriarchs
where we all now listen,
We are going back.