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New Poems in Latino Literatures

Two poems that were published on September 12, 2022, in Latino Literatures.

la casa

                    scar of stone
                                             fenced out
the grass is alive
      undying Autumnal green

                    Flamboyán Trees weave soft
                    breeze that shrouds
                    the foundations of that first house
                    Juan Ponce de Leon named Villa Caparra after
                    the great city of the Roman Empire in Spain
to name the thing is to kill it: then it’s alive 
Caparra turned silent monument facing
                                    an arterial road deafened by bleed speed 
                                    traffic unaware of the ruins

                    invisible museum
                                    invisibility is a thing with scales

                                    this is not Ithaca 
                                    this is Borikén

   and the house dwells beyond façade
                    intimate space    unity    complexity

   furnished with dispersed images
                                               a broken body

   a house is the logos of home for imagination augments 
                                               the values of reality

   The Caparra Archeological Site settles memory
          timid and without elasticity    in a land where 
          the fictions drown the passing of time
                oblivion is kingdom 

come Ponce de Leon’s house has no ceiling 
or walls today

                                               it’s the house of nothing
                                               la casa de nada
post-Caliban blues

I wish I could have a better story
                      for the sky so they would listen to me
          in stone           morn          splendid    
heroics cohere          beautiful          exact        

like the first burn of love 
in the trembling 
dark skin

shoot ornate denunciations and mystic 
reggaeton chants varnished in tangerine 

          tarnished    oblivions    dry-mouths 
          and guilt blood made of bloods
          and wars fought for Sam

equality smirks because 
it only happens when we die

and we die all the 
time, but they never 
tell us

equal but 
separate Jim 
Chango laws

we are moths flying into 
the blue light of history

               you see my own death comes with 
               a dirge        funeral wreaths     white hearse

        with freckles
        just like my mother’s face

we’re all erasure bandying melancholic 
sushi down the gentrified misereres 
of third world regrets and pachanga* 
as selling cheap watches to Father Time 
on Easter Sunday Missa Luba

        (I drowned that Missa Luba)

we’re so backdoor Bacardi
pharmakon with bula drums and timba 
sounds from forests catching fire

we might not find the way back 
to greater it was better when it was 

        it’s always lonely

we’re so jornalero notebooks my ancestors carried
in their hearts       a graveyard shift        dead ringing
                                                                in splendid 
                                                                isolation of starlit 

we’re so the loneliness of hot iron black codes that still 
pervade the lack of freedom                   we’re an island    
                                                                built on servitude

I’m so asylum 
displacement we’re so IRA so ire so irie
with this self-governing piece of land

we even write our own constitutions
while Uncle provides financial aid for infrastructure

we are no commonwealth 
we are a Latino reservation

a dying country paints the shadow
of a dying mother
                                 swarm fireflies from your mouth

I clutch my nails to the bottom of the sky 
feed me a name before I forget what I will 

*Caribbean rhythm that blends son montuno (Cuba) and merengue (Dominican Republic).

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