Twilight, Star Valley

the last bridge
between my family name,
our mongrel blood,
and that town
on the river
in the "old country"
of my ancestors
that i have never dreamed,
and, most likely,
never will.

the very last tie to that world
now all but erased,
its rural, tribal ways
bullet riddled, slaughtered, set fire to;
i can only guess you
spent a life trying to forget.

you died two days ago,
so i heard,
3,000 miles away.

98 years,
(or 99, or 100, who can know now?)
you were my grandfather's baby sister.

you outlived
your town,
your family,
and those
who so viciously
and deliciously
murdered us in that town;

you outlived that country's name,
that country's borders,
and all those
who changed those
names and borders
for their own
political and economic whimsy
you probably never understood,
nor gave a shit about.

you lived
and lived

4 foot 11,
bones of my face,
90 pounds,
bones of my body,
hurtling through history;

i doubt this ever
occurred to you.

i say
goodbye now,
my aunt francis,
to you
and the secret fire,
that burns a legacy,
melts concrete,
carries souls across oceans,
through clawing city streets,
and countless, merciless languages
with no forgiveness,

only to rebelliously rise to the surface,
back to breathing life...

goodbye now, to the shadows of
my unnamed, unknowable, and forgotten ancestors
who burned away
and you so rightfully take with you now
to the other side.

Los Angeles - 2/13/10