In this city our local beaches
populated themselves with ghosts.
It was too polluted for humans
who hadn't yet given up their souls.
They'd play games they recalled,
that no one else remembered.
Using parasols, wearing striped suits,
they showed a more restrained age.
There was only one day
when the local populace took
the beaches from the spirits;
it was called Reenactment Day.
The families of relatives
who'd been carried off by hurricanes,
would reenact the devastation,
the neglect of the government,
the depression and mourning after.
They brought picnic lunches,
rosaries, and cardboard tombstones.
They carried their scripts of pain.
Awards were given to the best criers,
to those who duplicated deaths
in the most accurate manner.
At the end of the festival,
the city held a barbecue, inviting
everyone to partake of the meal.
The ghosts returned afterwards,
detesting the smell of the living,
not understanding what had gone on.
All they knew is they grew in number
every few years, and that one day
they might be greater than the city.
A ruins might be left where memory
has died, where no one returns
to preserve the traditions, leaving
only gulls to cry amongst themselves.