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  • Januário Esteves

A Poem

mass for the dead

Now that you've arrived here and you don't know that you died

I silently lament the plea for mercy

that justifies your actions while you were alive

and you never wanted to know about the death of others

for the divine death takes all without exception

repaying the cause in the effect of your life

and in the good or bad actions you performed

taking your being along the road that doesn't know where it's going

in the days consumed by the struggles that made you

too human for the suffering you caused

grounded by the caustic things that happen

without knowing where the salt that seasons us comes from

nor the light that turns us on and confronts darkness

seeking to return to the warmth of the creator womb

so that out of nowhere we were all and a divine mantle

protect our body like the shroud that covers you.


Januario (Jan) Esteves was born in Portugal in 1947. He grew up in Angola and came to the US in 1962. He graduated from Evander Childs High School in the Bronx and School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. Jan now resides in Philadelphia. Website:

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