Tata's Shoes

Last Easter
my Abuela
wore her shoes
to Easter Mass
in America
just like she has
so many times
since leaving Cuba
so many years ago
with an incomplete

This year
Tata's shoes
and some of
her other
favorite things
are in Cuba
without her
going to Easter Mass
on the feet of
we love.

And in that,
we find
the smallest

History: April 10, 2000

I walk into the classroom exactly one minute after lecture was supposed to begin.

They know, because it is the end of the semester, that I am always early. I have told them to worry about me if I'm late.

As I turn the overhead on, I can't lift my chin to acknowledge them.

That day, I had no "guess what" story, no quizzes to hand back.

Just a single sheet of overhead projector transparency onto which I'd xeroxed both Marvin's obituary and my letter to Marvin.

I flicked on the light, adjusted the focus, and stepped back, arms crossed, leaning on the wall.

Within about two minutes