The Graveyard

  The rusty gate swung open with a groan. She hesitated a moment before stepping through it. Ghosts surrounded her as she entered, crowding her mind with their memories, questions and unfulfilled wishes. She pushed through them like cobwebs, following the overgrown path through the forest of headstones. As their desperate whispers receded into the wind, she focused her thoughts on the names passing by her in the moonlight.

  Her feet remembered the path they had learned long ago, when she had first tred this path blinded by tears. Her fingers caressed damp stone, the last remnant of lives long past, forgotten even by those who had claimed to love them. The black curtain of her hair hid the twist of a smile that betrayed her thoughts. She could remember. She would never forget.

  She finally stopped in front of a tuft of weedy grass and dull marble. Tearing the grass away, she brushed moss and grime away from the carved stone, revealing the name forgotten by everyone but herself and one other. Beneath the name 'George Rafael Brown' a series of marks was scratched into the stone. Taking a large hunting knife from its sheath at her waist, the woman added another across a cluster of four. 130 years of death so that she might be remembered as this artist had not been. He had refused to outlive the prejudice of his time. Celeste had chosen differently. Laying a blood red rose in the dewy grass, only the ghosts heard her words. "Thank you, George."

-Sonja Torres 1999

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