We enrolled at barbizon
Knowing full well
We’ d never look like
What was promised
Cue carol of the bells
Cue a demo on the casio
And the security of two-way
Escalators setting the speed
Those early mornings
In our mall school
The store’ s silver grills
Some mannequins left
We’ d taunt them
With our imagined summers
In london paris rome
We weren’ t please and thank you
Walking with books on our heads
No we were going to devastate
Greek shipping heirs
We enrolled at barbizon
In an air-conditioned trailer, three geeks
barely beyond boyhood fist-bump and high-five
at a job well done. With the click of a key a dozen
soundless screens flutter. Now in the shallow
of a cave near the Khyber Pass, a stack of glow sticks
activated in the blast steeps the darkness green:
two cans of pineapple; a mangled can of beets
bleeding juice; some boy streaked black, his burns
wrapped in torn canvas tent flaps. He must hear the
cyborg beetle’ s brains buzz like a circuit- bent keyboard
When it’ s Christmas we’ re all of us magi.
At the grocers’ all slipping and pushing.
Where a tin of halvah, coffee-flavored,
is the cause of a human assault-wave
by a crowd heavy-laden with parcels:
each one his own king, his own camel.
Nylon bags, carrier bags, paper cones,
caps and neckties all twisted up sideways.
Reek of vodka and resin and cod,
orange mandarins, cinnamon, apples.
Floods of faces, no sign of a pathway
toward Bethlehem, shut off by blizzard.
There are eyes, glasses even, but still he can’ t see
what the world sees seeing him.
They know an image of him they themselves created.
He knows his own: fine-lined from foot to finger,
each limb adjusted, because it’ s had to,
to achieve finally flight —
everywhere and in dream
body armor removed
what now, legacy, archivum
we female archons preserve of
intensity a durance a hand you recognize
assurance as lives on
drank of that
drank of this
almost suffocated, then drowned
downed but never
what only she could only know
as herself living in the brute time
speak of a syntax of rendition?
the politics of Empire chip away
as poetry attests, give it up
When I’ d reported to the couple, thus
That up there no one murders now for gain
Since no one owns a thing, the faithless spouse
Who’ d beguiled that woman so improperly
Lifted his hand, now tied to hers by chains
And looked at her and turned perplexed to me
So no one steals, if there’ s no property?
I shook my head. And as their hands just touched
I saw a blush suffuse the woman’ s cheeks.
The fallen Latte is the sign. It is from within the row of Latte that
we feel our strength. It is the severed capstone that gives us Their
message, "Ti monhayon I che'cho." We will not rest until the
Latte is whole.
— Cecilia C. T. Perez from "Signs of Being: A Chamoru
Spiritual Journey" (1997)
his hands —
husk coconut —
feeds [us] —
stories — this
raised house —
I must admit to this outright theft.
Before the crickets could impede me,
I reached outside my window
to grab as much of Andalusia as
I could in the palm of my hand.
I took the evening's silver
from the olive trees, the yellow slumber
from the lemons, the recipe for gazpacho.
I made a small incision in my heart
and slipped in as much as my left
and right ventricles could hold.
I reached for a pen and a piece of paper
to ease-out the land into this poem.
I closed the small incision in my heart
Bit weird at first,
That starey look in the eyes,
The hair down past his shoulders,
But after a go with the ship’ s barber,
A sea-water shower and the old slouch hat
Across his ears, he started to look the part.
Took him a while to get the way
A bayonet fits the old Lee-Enfield,
But going in on the boats
He looked calmer than any of us,
Just gazing in over the swell
Where the cliffs looked black against the sky.
When we hit he fairly raced in through the waves,
May we blossom every fifty years
without afflicting the people.
May our seedpods nourish rodents
who roam our groves
without rebuking lands with famine.
May sweet potatoes and rice save us.
May ginger and turmeric flourish
to the bitter distaste of rats
while tresses of bamboo flowers
changeling white wasps
load the groves with seed
in rare perennial synchrony.
May our sisters flower en masse
hundreds of square miles apart