Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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arnoldo garcía


i am homesickness
the road
the wandering
the horizon
the search for the next field
moving on after the last harvest season
packing everything into the pick-up
hopping in the back
the road is for the weary migrant
the road is the migrant's other vacation
you go to the next season
prune souls
prop communal branches sagging with the goddess's breasts
we suckle on ripening lips
sunburnt chapped nipples
our bodies
rasping against
the trees
green beans
before winter sets in
and we flee before the snow
traps us in her ice cream with canned condensed milk

I am homesickness
I don't belong anywhere
except on the dark nights
sliced by highways and rosaries for insurance
No one will remember me anywhere
I have lived nowhere long enough to be a memory
I become the human dust
the housewife washes off the fruit and vegetables
while she cooks for her family
I am at the table being eaten alive
as I hunger over beans and tortillas in a moldy migrant camp
crunch on the rare chile verde
I hear laughter (our own)
I hear prayers (my grandmother leading us from temptations)
I hear snoring (the fatigue of hardest working brothers and sisters slightly poisoned every day to ensure a slow death by a thousand hoes and blisters)

In the morning the singing begins
The comal sizzling with tomatoes being cooked on the ancient griddle my gandmom
carries with us from meal to meal, a portable stove top over an open fire, from place to place,
My grandfather is a human compass and map
He can find any field anywhere in the dark of the early hours of what will be a 14, 15 16, 17, 18, even 20 hour work-day (depending on the season)
We drive to the edge of a day that will soon arrive
with her ignorant sun that treats humans and plants equally
no mercy for those without a chlorophyl skin, a green skin that ripens fruit
and ages humans into dog years
You pour your coffee without a thought
You slice your tomatoes, sometimes a little miffed by its imperfections
You cook bacon, chicken, spaghetti, carrots, broccoli, tasty salads,
impeccably topped with goat cheese or olives
Oblivious to the migrant hands and backs
the destruction of a human body the circumstantial evidence of your ignorance

I am now homesick
for every place I've ever trekked
for every migrant camp I ever lived even if for a few weeks
for every road that lead us to our homes everywhere
I am homesick every day that I am not on the road
to the next season
to the next field
to the next migrant dance and wedding
the luxury of the poor who feed you every day and night

I am homesick and there is no cure
except to bury me in a dirt road
at the intersection of solstices
There is no cure
except to banish the sadness of departures and separation
keep me close to your eyes your breathing your steady word
You come home every day after work
I look for my home as I look for work
My sickness is fatal, is collective
except for a home and assurances that I won't be thrown out or away
when the last season is done and the geese fly over the fields
and we follow them, we're next, we're done and forgotten

Don't forget me, don't obliterate us
shelter us
defend us
put your arm around the shadows of our desires
and everything may be alright
but not today
not this morning
I am homesick and this place will not heal me

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