I never was public enemy number one
or dressed for success or
fastest on the draw
I sat in the bottoms of canyons
enveloped in red rock or Fulton Street
and the grandeurs filled me with
I sat on the tops of statueless villages
sweating buckets of pesos and mystery
meats, and the experience left me
I never was worth the espionage
of a face database from a photo
I never made the watchlists.
But I labored away at this terrain,
sometimes up and sometimes down,
where I only sometimes observed
the face of my motherland
sometimes observing me, but
more often not
more often the death mask,
its valleys and crests
couldn’t speak or console
and besides I often saw faces
of others. These human relations,
warm in their immediacy, cold in
their languages. The mother
she speaks a dust idiom,
and what is that?
She’d said, “this world is
not my home”. I’d registered
that phrase, at least.
I don’t know how I feel.
Canyons or villages.
Her delicate features replicated
in that hard death mask there.
I know one thing:
the true motherland is a delicate,
I’m waiting for you,
brothers and sisters,
to ween yourselves off
of those funerary fetishes.
Let’s break the clay and
churn it into soil,
let’s water the fields
with the impure blood
let’s wear our citizenships
like phrygian caps once more,
and find a woman a lot
like our mothers.