Monday, April 04, 2005

from "Chaya, V"



The frigate doesn't always get
her fish. She dives. She plunges
in, her heart in her head. All of the morter
in her wings, aloft; alive with the bounty
of best. Again.

We earned this battle. History,
forgotten four times over, the foreigner
always wins. The vanquished concedes
the sugar. We've given all we got.
Now we are the receivers, the perceivers
feeling our way past destiny.
What we are is a bitten fruit
gazing into the sacrifice
of the sun; the rotations of the hemispheres
known to us a millenia before
NASA. We receive the data of the dead
on the butterflies flight—those tourists
to the nine unknowns, the first explorers
stitching the continents back into the memory of when
they were one vast turtle's back.
Perceivers of the nine dimensions
—what isn't said in words.

You burned the books
so you wouldn't know.
We burned the books
so you wouldn't take
more. More of the same,
the pillage and rape
of the deepest dark, the grand
debauch in another country, on
another tongue, the conquering
of the mind. I didn't say
you did this. I say
this is history. It is not
the song.

We sing in our sleep, wake
remembering—how not to kill
for the shape of the Other's fears,
how to feed the mouths that
say us. Speak to me not of dreams,
but of the songs you hear in your head,
the Mother Tongue lapping at the banks
of worlds. The New World crumbling
in on ourselves, all the towers imploding,
the twin desires caving in to empathic
imagination. We are how we imagine
the other to be. Let us be
happy in the pursuit of peace. Free
to stand for as long as we want
without some other saying,
"No! You can't stand here.
This is mine,"
without imagining
another country
same as the rest.

c 2005 Lorna Dee Cervantes
from the forthcoming book, "How Far's the War?"
(Book 1 of DRIVE: The First Quartet, Wings Press, Oct. 2005)


Blogger loveandsalt said...

Dear Lorna--It's Cynthia Huntington (from many years ago, Provincetown.) I just read your blog, excellent. I am very sorry about your father and hope the coming days are peaceful for him and all of you. I'm writing to ask if you have an address for Daryl Begay. He was my student at Dartmouth and I'd love to catch up with him. Love, Cynthia

5/4/05 04:36  

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