• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 11

Son of the Original Sin

You will expect long hours, sleeplessness
insomnia befriends those who haunt the witching hours
you do not expect your toes to feel frigid like frozen shrimps
you already cover yourself well with a history

of men tiring recklessly under the sun,
cultivating cactus the way women raise children
with care, with a watchful eye, with fury
yet jovially sing with maracas by midnight

these are the wild grips of home, clasping on your throat
exile is hard, it has its own language

Blessed, are you, even with a cloth around your mouth
it doesn't keep you from speaking; with long vowels
with thick thistle needles poking onto your back,
with a limp in the words even when you master the language of service

this is what happens to a folded past,
it open us up when we least except it

Original son of the original sin
why did you have to make the cross?
between the wires your skin is a cross of your own bearing
for foreign adjectives will disguise your kindness

your features are harsh, you hands are rougher than most,
but they say the roughest hands reveal the gentlest hearts


Son of the Original Sin

there are those, like you, serving with weariness
written across their eyes like a wave in a clear glass paperweight
saying yes, sir and no sir exactly when needed for little is given back,
exile is hard, it has its own language

you know the hour. Duck your head on cue
open your hands to receive a better lie

that it gets better. Yet, those who cry goodness have learned to slaughter your sons
list their names as if they were sins, only sin
original sin that cannot be erased by fleeing across the ocean
or changed by crossing dry land with old sandals and a vintage serape

you will expect bows instead of blows, see others inherit your land
then let you pay rent for it ninety nine years
while you sit on the edge of an old mattress with old ways of worship
old rosaries and chant to forgive, seven times seventy

home is in a satchel but you have, of all things, faith left
you will expect the hours to be long but with a song, where does time go?

you will ask what do we have other than our ancestry to set us apart
deep cooked dishes, hand gestures and art
melancholy made into melody,
yet our genes make of us human, mi chica

my daughter, you say
yet who am I, to speak in your name?