The space between two worlds (before, after)
The space between two bodies of water (your blood, my tears)
The space between two words (she died)

There is so much space between those two words – she died – how is it that the entire universe can be contained within that slip of space?

And I live in that space (and, oh, some days I want to die)
And I dream in that space (in my dreams you are draped in pink, surrounded by roses)
And I break in that space (again and again and again)

But I will love you, still, in this space. And I will wonder at the vastness of this expanse – all of this because you lived (because you died.) I will hold this space with tenderness as wide as time.

Two children sitting on a dock
Eve and her brother sitting on a dock.

A note about this piece: I came across the word Nepantla this weekend in a book I was reading for work, and it resonated with me. Nepantla is a word first used by the Nahuas in Central Mexico to describe the space between two bodies of water, the space between two worlds.

It’s found in an inscription that roughly translates to: ‘We travel along a mountain ridge while we live on earth, an abyss yawning on either side. If you stray too far one way or the other, you will fall away. Only by keeping to the middle way (nepantla) does one walk on and live.’ – Wise Old Women (the ilamatlācah). And it reminded me of the space of our grief.

If you are interested in learning more about nepantla, check out Gloria E. Anzaldúa’s work as it relates to Chicana cultural theory, feminist theory, and queer theory.