The re-racked tops, bottoms, frocks beggared us.
Remember, bodies, once, possessed this cloth,
My mom reminisced. When we took the bus
Past bodegas, the hot-press mill, the swath
of storefront churches, tarpapered shotguns,
A land of corrupting rust, engorged moth,
To purchase, for the next fall, clothes the nuns
Found fitting, we, too, made out like a thief
At night. She dressed me like the rich man’s sons,
And gave herself, yet attained no relief,
Cried out, “Come, Jesus!,” where, then, was the Lord?
Without memory, one can have no grief.
Now, she is dead. My loss, my pain, I hoard
Indulgence even beggars can afford.