A fifth-grade bully, a blossoming romance, a late-night crash
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With my massive soul I open
my brother’s heart,
where fire rumbles,
rocks grind against each other,
and the moon rots in wounds
of black branches across his eyes.
In the fire base metals of my voice
on the dark as light,
whether sword or figurine of brotherhood,
the mold awaits in him.
The compliant pretty face, the soft padded shoulders,
of Integrity, in soft soled shoes of a sycophant,
in pantomimic cities, chemically lifted to climax,
with gold boned laughter in their hearts,
while despair flaps over the land of sybarites,
whose lives crumb for crumb, grain for grain,
root for root,
is in the service of banks.
I look at you with distraught eyes, I,
stroked by storm’s smoking hand, I,
among untampered, temperamental young wild winds,
that give their soft hair and young bodies,
to trees and flowers driven mad,
placed in even lines,
I, like twenty mule teams
lugging boulders across earth, up mountains,
I, a wind at your furrows,
I, rain at your furrows, destroy the symmetry,
and discern new cultivation,
feed seeds of what I see and feel,
with dreams, a new reality.
I want Justice afoot in each house,
whether parquet floor or mud floor.
I do not want its sweet face,
its drop of blood pinched from a pimple,
or a cherry in a gentleman’s evening drink its pride.
It roars at a culture’s silence
by dropping its judgement, a great avalanche of rocks
upon the guilty breast, and polished boots get dusty,
dark roads where robbers feast, close down.
But today Justice does not do this.
I want Justice to be a beast free of reins, unrepressed,
respected over the earth.
I want it here in America, while we sit before our fires,
to approach out of the shadows we fear.
I want its raw bellow
to awake our lethargic hearts like a sleepless whip!
But in dark valleys where cities thrive,
Justice leans against a lamp post,
lips painted pink, or in private clubs,
panting under red lights, she fingers g-strings,
while patrons count their money.
I know she does not need this,
and does not need million dollar lawyers,
she needs us,
and here in this cell, I take
her chilled calloused fingers in mine,
brush gray hair from her old faded eyes,
and with my shaggy spirit around her
for a warm blanket,
I watch her drink the bitter medicine of my struggle,
Medicine found in the heart,
in the common needs of common people,
medicine made with my hands and eyes,
medicine made from hunger and lies and violence,
medicine of the blood of each living person.
Jimmy Santiago Baca