Pandemic XX XX

Mixed media collage of xeroxed NY Times, tar paper, acrylic paint, 24” x 48”

Carol Cole

Carol Cole
Pandemic XX XX


Mari-Carmen Marín

Fresh loaves of pan de muerto sit on the shelves and big

baskets sit on the floor of my bakery, some decorated with

bones out of dough, others arranged as if skulls. As Posada

once said, “Todos somos calaveras,” we will end up without

flesh, only bones. Eggs, flour, yeast, sugar, a dash of anise,

is all that it takes to raise up the dead in the oven.

I’ve prepared my altar at home: a picture of abuela Lupe,

abuelo Joaquín, tío Favio, tía Marta, without forgetting

my precious dog Ollie, all standing next to flickering

candles and around marigold petals, which are scattered

to guide them away from their gravesites each year on

the first two days of November.

I must lay out the ofrendas. I will place jars of water to

quench their thirst after their long journeys, loaves of my

best pan de muerto to dunk into hot chocolate, mezcal and

pulque for the men, atole, mole negro, and all kinds of fruit.

I will sit in the middle, wearing my smock on top of my shirt,

the big breadbasket covered in a white cloth upside down on

my head, to look like a calavera, and we will dine together.

Ekphrastic poem inspired by: Skull by Octavio Ocampo (1991)

Mari-Carmen Marín

Mari-Carmen Marín was born in Málaga, Spain, but moved to Houston in 2003, where she has found her second home. She is a professor of English at Lone Star College—Tomball and enjoys dancing, drawing, reading, and writing poetry in her spare time. Writing poetry is her comfy chair in front of a fireplace on a stormy winter day.

Carol Cole

Carol Cole studied history, art history, literature, and anthropology at Stanford. She was a history teacher and TV producer before she realized she was an artist. Cole has had solo shows at Villanova University Art Gallery, the Colgate University Museum, and Cerulean Arts in Philadelphia. Her sculpture Steinway Mandala is in the permanent collection of the Curtis Institute of Music. She is an active member of the Philadelphia Dumpster Divers.

Carol Cole