The University of Iowa

C. FAUSTO CABRERA, IA: When Lazarus Walks

August 3, 2020

IOWA PRISON WRITING PROJECT

When Lazarus Walks

C. FAUSTO CABRERA, IOWA


 

My ghetto gives birth, breeds shit buried
thought to decay—but it grew roots, it sprouts and reaches.

Now I gotta sift through the dumpster behind McDonald’s
to uncrumple the kid you lost somewhere along the way.

Hey, could you float us a couple of notes to get started?
You know, something to piss away while we wade through
sewage seeking the baptism to rise anew—on our way to somewhere?

I couldn’t imagine. You’re so much stronger than
           Me . . . I don’t know what I’d do—
(so I do nothing). See, the machine works fine. Just think,
you could be dead. It saved you from something worse.
You should be grateful. Praise the walls and mortar. Tell us
more so we can twist and turn a little more before dinner.

“Lord, the one you love is sick.” I walked at night and stumbled
         without excuse, without reason. I’ve fallen           asleep.
“Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad
          I was not there . . . Let us go to him.” Jesus wept.

I’ll keep my grave clothes; hang them on the wall where once

the coiled razor wire pulled across the horizon.

          Everything I do from this point should matter.

Rob my grave. Stop asking what it was like to die.

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