Academic journal article Afro - Hispanic Review

"There Are Two Countries"

Academic journal article Afro - Hispanic Review

"There Are Two Countries"

Article excerpt

(after the maestro, nuestro Pedro Mir)

There are two countries in the world

in the same path

of the sun.

Natives of the night

in a colonized archipelago

of tourists

and free zones.

Simply light

like the kisses of children

raised together

who do not yet know

how to hate each other.

Simply nestled

on one small island

like twins

in the womb of Quisqueya,

"Mother of all the Islands."

Simply and tragically

torn asunder,

by history,

greed

for sugar to sweeten

the porcelain cups

of the rich,

leaving the dregs

of bitterness behind

in our mouths.

Greed of kings

for gold and more gold,

for nectar of alcohol

to dull the ache

in their souls.

Greed of Spain,

greed of France,

each pulling an end

until the land tore,

and the river flowed

blood

at the place

where the two

come together.

A river

named massacre,

which today we rename "mother, "

meeting place,

temple and tabernacle

of a new holy communion

by the sons and daughters

of one island.

Quisqueya,

with hilly Haiti

to the west,

four central cordilleras,

immense bays,

eroded hills

where poverty meets necessity,

and the trees give up

their throats to the knife

like sacrificial lambs

on the altars of power.

Quisqueya,

where nothing thrives

like the dream of allá,

the nightmare of parting

brother

from sister,

father

from daughter,

son from

mother and lover-

another massacre

for the green parsley

of the dollar.

We are two countries in the world

located in the path of hope,

victims of the same history,

sharing the same ghosts:

the blood of our Taíno grandfathers,

the sweat of our African grandmothers,

soaked in our soils

and our souls;

sharing the sad regress

of progress,

like the shuttle of a loom

weaving our common narrative

rarely given voice.

We are simply

brothers and sisters,

not meant to be divided

or set one against the other

by wars

or the rumors of wars,

by comparisons

from the richer neighbor

to the north.

Here at the border of massacre

we create a new border

of hope;

here in the killing fields

we sow the seeds of the future

and await

the flowering of peace. …

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