For my grandmother, after her favorite song, Solamente una Vez.
You were never one for sitting down.
And long after it did not work out,
you showed who could wear the pants
better and built a house. Your hairdresser’s
eye arranged an enclosed patio
with a lemon tree as its centerpiece.
Is this the huerto in which your hope
glittered so many years later? A clock
of citrus suns by which to measure
his ill-timed return. And when the church bells
sing in the plaza, you will them to be
as faint as the serenade left in his wake.
HOW I REMEMBER “INTI” IS THE KICHWA WORD FOR SUN
Galápagos Islands, 2017
When they came, they came to conquer,
not understanding the alloy found amongst
even the poorest of natives held a value
incomputable to foreign greed: the weight
of a soul; the sun’s blood congealed; an ounce
of the divine on Earth. I brought you on the winds,
your eyes thirsty for light, you came for your awe
to be conquered. I saw your beaming silhouette
balance between a cerulean sea gilded
by an equatorial sun and the world’s white sand end.
Your laughter my heliacal treasure brighter and more
abundant than what they could never find enough of.