…alma que se dispersa entre otras almas,
fuera un milagro que alguna vez dejaran de ser.
- Jorge Luis Borges, La Recoleta 

Early in the morning women sweep the Mausoleums,
their task lit by the sun’s rays filtered through 
cracked stained glass windows in threads of yellow and red
snuffed out into shadows by cobwebs thick with ashes.
They drink in the rich stench of death and peace
brush the souls hanging from the walls like ivy,
brooms sending clouds of dust past rusting gates
down the wide and uneven walkways between the tombs.

Stephen Rosenshein is a native of Seattle and is currently pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University. He served as Poetry Editor for Fourteen Hills Magazine and is currently in charge of PR and author promotions for Small Desk Press. Winner of the Mark Linenthal Award for Poetry, his poems and translations have appeared in Transfer, Wooden Teeth, Mortar & Pestle, le Cult de Moi, Foliate Oak and more. He is currently working on a book-length translation of Chilean poet Yanko González Cangas.

I wrote this piece while traveling through South America.  I was in Buenos Aires at the Recoleta Cemetery and the words of Borges were echoing in my head.  I wanted to write a piece that would capture the image impressed on me by this maze of ornate and noble tombs.  As I wrote and rewrote this poem, I found myself focusing more and more closely on one moment of time and space, until I found myself writing from inside the mausoleum itself. 



Copyright 2009