I am the face of a woman who longs for the fragile, shy kiss of your eye, Venezuela blue, palm trees, oranges, the sweetness of your breath in a dark room, and your language. I don’t speak your boy name, Domingo from the stars, shoved into the pit of an outhouse, dangling upside down, breathing the shit and piss of your family as your mother’s knife screamed at you in Spanish. Sacrilege. Sacrilege. As a father, you swung me into the air and commanded me to look, to envision, to capture again and again the sheen of the crow’s nocturnal wing, but all I’ve ever found in crow feathers is the shadowed breath of your flight and the blackness of your hair. Now all your colors elude me. Pobre mi corazon. Busco en mi pecho la calma, sueno de me alma de mi corazon.* How I wish you were here. Weren’t you the one who died so far from home? So many wounded phantoms. I watched you step from the edge, lured by jagged, painted dancers shaking their palo de lluvia, beating los bombos. Ah, how translucent your skin. You were laughing, drunk on pisco, naked in their arms. It’s nothing, you said. It’s only the wind, and I believed you: your gossamer white blew further and further away until I could no longer hear the sound of you in my mother. God, how she’s hated you. I thought I saw you in a man’s eyes yesterday filled with South American oranges and waves of palm trees splashing life all over me. I had to look again and again. I barely know him, and I’ve hardly any courage since you went away, but I wept beneath his magnificent sky. If we could touch, I’d promise to be content, again. I long for crow feathers, orange rinds, coffee, for your face in my dreams. Mingo, if you are in Hell, Jesus is there, too, protecting you.
* “La de los Humildes” by M. O. Matus and Armando Tejada Gomez.