Dark

”The duende is not in the throat;
the duende climbs up inside you,
from the soles of the feet.” ~ Lorca

What a fever of documentation
our naked glistening inspires
in your ships’ logs, what a frenzy
of pointing fingers when you all
come ashore. Don’t deny
you want to graze the tips
of our women’s breasts
as they husk the grain
and carry our young on their hips.
Slim pretense of idols you set
against the gods, their dark
bodies like ours
standing sentinel in the fields.
When we dance our bodies
enter the fire.
Your falsehoods robed in piety
make us subaltern:
our heels mark time, coppered
by the dust of the earth.
Alloyed in the gleam
of history and its chains,
rows of us mourn in orchards
sowing and reaping for tables
where we won’t be made
welcome, where the lyric blood
in our veins cannot mark
the pure white cotton
of your daughters’ frocks;
where our tired brown bodies
roam at night, looking to escape
the judgments of the merciless.

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