There is power here.
I feel it coursing through my veins, pooling in my joints.
Embroidering my irises with its frozen fire.
Violin strings and Gregorian hymns lift the potential in this mane of hair,
the cello is a lullaby resounding.
Music is sometimes the only way for me to articulate the butterflies valiantly flapping in my throat.
Something about the endless heartbeat of the drum
the pulse of the world and of my mothers
and my sisters
and those who came before me.
It is the rhythm of our feet, one dogged step after another.
When I walked the desert, dust in my ears, in my mouth and in my eyes I knew this drumbeat, I knew this rhythm.
When the nomads banished me from the camp for bleeding, I knew this rhythm.
When I rose against the walls of Jericho, I knew this rhythm.
When I pulled down Babel, I knew this rhythm.
When I was cast from Eden, I knew this rhythm.
Do not stand there in the face of my flesh and deny me goddess.
Do not stand before me and be unable to bear my being.
Do not look at the rolling of my hips and the proud jut of my jaw and tell me no.
This body was carved with every chalk handprint,
with every sigh from my lips,
with every scar and every freckle,
with every kilo and every calloused finger.
This body was carved from magic and from moonlight and from blood and from the stones of altars raised to gods whose names you have long forgotten.
It is made of sycamore and elm,
of yew and ash,
of oak and birch.
Of stained glass and old habits,
Red wine entrails and acorns in the pit of your stomach,
Sweet meat come to tempt the hands of Adam.
I was conceived in the sand of the barren beaches
Under moonlight slick and visceral
Between the gaps in the opera seats
And in the dust of actors’ raiment
Gilded and fading
Like the hair on the head of John the Baptist.
I was birthed in the space between comfort and restlessness
You know me of old
I am a sharpened sword, cleaving your consciousness
My heart is violent
My soul is wild.
I am longing for my country, unbridled landscapes stern in the face
of your Kings, your knights and your steel.
Vanquished now to the dogma of man.
It makes my spirit weep.
I blame Saltillo.