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After Analicica Sotelo’s Death Wish
Her swollen eyes speak a different version of ASL for those of us who understand it,
But not too many of us understand it because her composure is thicker
than the makeup she uses to hide the wrinkles taking over like tyrants. Before
wet tears moved in like my unemployed cousin on Welfare
Leaving only the crystalized, microscopic, residue of constant failure
And salty circumstances, I’m sure it tastes a little like Fireball and Jose Cuervo
Because that’s what she hopes to replace her blood with ‘cuz her heart deserves a drink, too.
And she can’t recover because Ed Sheeran’s “Dive” pounds in her mind all the time.
So she mangles her napkin till its remnants scream mercy and tap out
Only to grab another one, because in her hands are where the serviettes go to die.
She begins to twist it, and it no longer holds a purpose. The frail sheet becomes a casualty
of war, enemy fire going off, paranoid shot glasses being slammed down all around her
But that napkin could have easily held a lipstick printed number that could have
Been passed on to some down-on-his-luck schmuck looking to comfort himself
Maybe even comfort her enough so that she forgets no one is watching. I see her.
Time cares for no woman and stops for no man but for just a second it watches her
Intently as it wraps its minutes and seconds around her throat and squeezes so tight
Her eyes begin to bulge, and she struggles to gasp that last bit of air trapped
In her gullet. It’s too late for her because her perfectly made up face won’t allow the
Others to call 911 and she loses consciousness with the twisted napkin still in her hand
But right as time is taking her life it loosens its grip, “she has suffered enough!”
He shouts out in ASL while the alcohol takes its course one last time.
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