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17 March 2009

"Brown Child"

Yaah, a chaanpal born of you
and me—of blood and corn—not another
blind seed in my womb—not the salt
down my Olmeca—Tamoanchán face.

Eyes the shape of
your sábalito fish eyes or
my ox seed eyes and with
your Chac nose—with
my mother’s crossed-eyes
looking inward—a sign of
beauty in the Mayan people—and
an owl or dove’s beak
for a mouth.

I ask for a chaanpal born of
you and me—not the fishing
for blood-covered plumbs in the waters
of the Usumancita River—on my knees

searching for the
the little torn arm and leg
of a conenetl on the river shore.

I ask for palms that
will beat the drum to
the sound of the earth’s heart—fingers
that will not be embarrassed
to weave petacas

that will hold tomorrow’s
sun-shaped corn and weave
petates that will serve as
tonight’s dream holders,
the tamal and the atole pedestals, or
our muertos last dress.

Copper brown skin
firmly between the papaya
and guayaba trees—not afraid
to climb and hold tight to the branches
and tumble down like an earthshaken
banana falling from
its dying dark
brown stem.

A conenetl for the love of the leaf,
the quetzal feather, and threadlike
insides sharpening
the white

And yaah, you ask
what about the hair . . .

With your hair—the
signal of no defeat. An
indefinable midnight
black rooster blue. Or

a chaanpal with
warrior hair that will
never conform—a chaanpal—not the
of rue to empty
a forsaken

I ask for a conenetl and
you, Yaah—not the returning of salt
my Tamoanchán face.

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