Last night I saw the devil: a cockeyed, cone-headed demon his face contorted from the turmoil of the Orishas that he daily dishonors with his vile contempt for humanity.
His ubiquitous beats, as impotent as his will for sustained oppression, cry out in shame with every slap of the demon’s swollen, calloused hands who steal from the innocent, who defiles his fellow man.
It took all I had not to pelt him with rocks from my trembling hands, not to scream liar, abuser, and thief.
But my mother’s voice whispered, don’t take the bait, don’t fall for his tricks.
I looked him straight in the face, made the sign of the holy cross then turned my back to comfort the daughters of the dead and honor the spirit of a truly good man who had passed, who, even in name, had the Santos guide his Ray of light, love, and illumination.
I went to that light.
I kneeled and prayed uttering the Spanish words Mom taught me,
the African words Santeros schooled me and
chanting in Jesus’ Aramaic like the Buddhist showed me.
I paid my respect with my heart and my tears then left and watched as the demon reappeared
in and out of that solemn place,
his face wretched with envy,
his mouth complaining, cursing,
debating the solemnity of the dead,
contrary to the grace of the living,
and to the Orishas he pretends to honor in the most dishonorable way.
R.I.P. Ray Santos