Towering right off Melrose, the thick of Mexican immigrants. A few blocks away – güeros: espresso shots, vintage clothes. The hollywood dream.
Remember the pews;
smooth to touch.
Remember the hymn books;
stale & worn.
Remember the kneelers;
ragged // crimson
Tia Concha’s was close, two blocks south. I’d enjoy the stroll, sticky pan dulce. The clicking of dress shoes on concrete. “Buenas dias” echoing down the avenue.
The sun and heat were unrelenting. I’d lose myself in the illuminated stained glass and shiny streams of dust, painted rose.
I never knew if I really believed, mostly people watched as everyone around me lowered their eyes and recited in whispers. I was absent in the words. Nearby St. Faustina’s look, damning.
After we’d all congregate in front, the “peace be with you’s” turned to gossip. He’d be standing there watching, crown and all.
Years later, I still smell those books and see the floating dust. Still wavering.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Erick Sáenz is a latinx writer from L.A., currently living in San Jose. He is a contributing editor for the online journal Cheers From The Wasteland. In addition to several self-released chapbooks, his fiction has previously appeared in Hobart, Pinball, and Alien Mouth.In his spare time he drinks too much coffee and makes noise tracks.