hitherto mankind i was aphrodite.
hitherto, hitherto, hitherto…
oh, if i could only live before the days of man!
who decrees i must be pale as the
porcelain over which my flesh is taut?
who prefers the fiasco to the sultry chianti?
who sees four brown limbs and thinks monkey?
who fancies segregation? who suggests human zoo?
and as mankind is the brown girl’s heathen, we
cannot help but laugh at the matches and stakes.
at least, we think, if we do not have souls,
they still do believe there are hearts to pierce.
but, oh, doesn’t the chanting sting the most?
before they rally they first delineate:
“don’t say brownskin– say bohemian,
say impoverished, say generational
say filthy, say barbaric.”
yes, say all those things that make me wish
you never found indio passé instead.
and this is where the story always fizzles:
i am waltzing alone to
the prosodies of the witch hunt–
white lily diadem
white windows latched
white curtains still
white smoke from a
white kettle and
white lashes drifting shut–
falling asleep to a dream where–
murders of crows like it best where–
they knock down the doors but i’ve long gone where–
brown girls are not serpents devouring themselves
only to grow more fiercely into the same brown skin.
say coming home to Apo Init’s
as ash does with dust so too must
clay do with clay.