-after a line by Carl Sandburg
The first year there were only five
photos of loved ones
who had died from an overdose,
framed and set up on a scrawny card table.
Some didn’t want to include their children—
You can’t blame them, Trish, the organizer, tells me.
It’s different now, she says.
People are more likely to be okay with it.
Today there are three tables
stretched long in a corner,
covered in purple and white
tablecloths and framed photos, votives, and keepsakes,
tables overcrowded with moments of sweetness
and joy and light—a guy on a minibike,
a fisherman with his catch,
one woman looking into the camera, another looking away,
a father holding his son, friends together, graduations,
days, smiles, hands, teeth, skin, bone.
Under their wrists, pulses.
Under their ribs, hearts.