Wednesday, March 28, 2007

new poem :: camina

ca mi na

sometimes, just before you've arrived,
there was a break

in the conversation
or in the foundation

and your people were divided
those who remembered
those who did not

if you are a woman
the world says fix it

if there is a woman next to you she is saying hmmm,
lip turned up, eyes scrutinizing

if a man
the world says fix it

if there is a man next to you he is looking to the other men,
wondering if he will be the first forward

if a person of color
the world says join, it's not too late

if there is a person of color next to you
he is saying that train is broken

if a queer person
the world says make yourself part of it

if there is a queer next to you
she is saying hell with this shit, let's go

but if she's an afro-caribbean feminist queer
she's more likely to go out singing
"no quiero verte mas
que te vaya bien"*

if, in all this, your grandfather from the island, stands as witness,
bumps you with his shoulder and convinces you
to walk with him to Matanzas

your feet glide right over the ocean
to his casita
where he'll cook
steamed crabs
white rice
red beans

and sit you down in his kitchen to make the salad
as he talks, reminding you of the candence in your own voice,
his hands thrown up as he says Olvidate de eso, mi amor

and soon you are eating, moving in your seat
ca mi na
to those who do not share your vision
thsoe who cannot honor the place you call home

de moverse la cintura
empiezes con la camina

muevete la cintura, empieze tu camina

ca mi na
ca mi na

*from "El Adios de Este Momento" by Septeto Nacional de Ignacio Pineiro.

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