Image by NASA

LA SANTA MUERTE FLOATS BETWEEN BONES AND FLOWERS IN SATURN'S RINGS

alondra adame

Velas are lit for the ones lost in space, for those whose ships never returned from unregistered
trading trips. Not everyone makes it past the Asteroid Belt and no one ever makes a stop near
Jupiter. It’s bad luck, that big red Mal de Ojo looking storm? Has to be a bad omen, Ama says.
Superstition asks you to wait until you see the rings of Saturn. In November, bits of orange
paper-mâché marigolds dance around the rocky asteroid rings of Saturn. La Santa Muerte guards the bones of our dead while our living take shots of tequila and remember and weep.

Alondra Adame is a nonbinary essayist, poet, and educator. They currently live in Chico, California where they teach and take walks with their partner and their dog, Buu. Their writing often revolves around family, identity, and the Chicanx experience in rural northern California. You can find more of their work in The Nasiona, PALABRITAS, Flies, Cockroaches, and Poets, and more. Follow Alondra on Twitter @alondrathepoet!

"Dia de los Muertos means remembrance and celebration. I think Mexicans are especially known for their dark humor which my parents definitely passed onto me. My mother was raised by her indigenous grandfather so she loves pointing out the Nahua influence within Mexican tradition. She's the one who introduced me to figures like La Santa Muerte when I was a kid and insisted on giving me lessons on long-dead family members as if they were tall tales. In my poem, I thought about a distant future where the descendants of Mexican/Chicanx families would still hold onto some of those old traditions like leaving marigolds for the people they've lost in space where they cannot bury their dead. While we might not be tied to a particular nation or even planet at that point, we could still remember and celebrate in some of the same ways because of passed down traditions. We don't necessarily need to mourn the dead with our tears but we can remember them, cheer for their lives, and celebrate our own lives with a rejuvenated appreciation in their honor."

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