Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Suffocated Terrace

My Grandfather's old house in Rio Piedras

The Suffocated Terrace
“El silencio es el refugio de los desvalidos, pero también es la madriguera de los cómplices." Jorge Gómez Jiménez, Letralia

a corpse buried
under a mound
of coconuts

at the hour
of the early breeze
the red ground

where heat and light
are born like eggs
with chorizo

the stench of vomit
a dead man’s journal
I opened and

read the first entry

today I went to talk about my pension plan
with the people at the suffocated terrace

and it was like a revelation
like walking down the steps of a twisted scar
to the crack at the bottom

of my back
the journey was
sprayed with vinegar

I remembered grade school
we had better toys
and our shoes

were made of leather
hardly anyone complained
about their DNA

or taxes and I was single
a kid but I paid taxes
nothing like I do now

to the same people
at the suffocated terrace
should I say suffocating
or call it The Suffocate

is it a terrace

now that it’s walled
and ready for the next

this sterile longevity
that someday soon will not have anyone
to pay their pensions or their health plans

and yet they
suffocate us on their terrace
or the likes of us       the nopalitos

coyoles fritos
pupusas rellenas de cerdo y queso
the rice and beans

of the rich       the political
the butt
of their jokes

Published in June of 2010

©  Sergio A. Ortiz, 2010-05-23


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