Santa Muerte

Vikas K. Menon


Here—I have left you dark chocolate,
a bourbon neat and cigarettes.

Darling snarl, beloved brawler—
you are the pickpocket's

nimble fingers, the cat burglar's
stealthy charm, the gasp in the night

from the thumbchoked windpipe.
You are the erasing eyes

of the rapist. You watch over
murderers, torturers, soldiers,

politicians, priests, students,
mothers, fathers, husbands,

wives, lovers, all of us lovers

who steal from each other at night:

Officer, I'd like press charges
against her for theft of self.

but you, Santa Muerte, you
had it all the time,

you take everything.
You take everyone.

We become oldboned and dry.

We beg for your knife.