for Uncle Balani

                        1. Spanish for “light”

                2. According to Rabbinical legend,
              the indestructible bone of the body,
            the nucleus of the resurrection body.

This night is too long
Too long for a prayer do not go
Into that elsewhere I do not know
This woman next to you
Clutching a rosary
I recite the v’ahavta as she lights
Veladoras to saints I cannot name
The night is too long I’ve been awake
Too long to keep
Elsewhere        elsewhere now
Radios wrenches full-throttle the garage
All the cars you restored in the rgv and beyond
All the pickups bikes vans 10-4
My beloved
My mother is calling   to you it’s late
It’s not too late we have yet to inscribe
Your name on our doorposts and our gates
I have prayed before a ramshackle
Altar of 7 day candles
Back in queens          elsewhere
I cannot bring here
10-4 you kiss my childhood sidor and faded
Polaroids taken after I was born
Too early you’d said it was not too late
Over and over you’d said my name
I’d known all of you
Before I knew your name
This is not kaddish
This is not rain on shabbat
This is elsewhere
Inside a storefront church
I pray to milagros nailed on rotting walls
For years the night was too long
And we said next to nothing
Fed the mosquitos our blood
Rocking for hours on a porch swing
Now I can’t get past
The bar and machinery of your bed
Half man half engine
Now I doubt
Now I’m asking
For saints I cannot
Name I bind as a sign upon your hand
This name on these doorposts
And on this gate now you are asking
The man I married to stay at your side
You ask for my rabbi
To marry your catholic son
You ask for my hand
Elsewhere now you ask for my hand only
At the bridge where the engine
Won’t turn it’s late they whisper
And kneel down to the floor
They kneel and pray
It’s not too late
Crank it up
Pedal to the metal
My beloved
This road is not yet done
Let’s burn it up