Academic journal article Afro - Hispanic Review

War on This Island

Academic journal article Afro - Hispanic Review

War on This Island

Article excerpt

Wars raging across the world,

and I am here to witness a love

from my bedroom. I wrote a letter daily.

Meadows of green pasture, awaken my

Beloved, as I dreamt of love-making prairies

last night. War again, I cannot believe-

to come with open wounds and lacerations,

bunches, brown and purple grapes of bruises.

Many more days will pass, until I see my Beloved


In a desert, unfamiliar to me, strange

and cold-looking towards our island home,

this yellow, barren desert is

contrasting blue skies, green palm

trees and the smell of molasses.

Strangers with too many warm garments;

no guayaberas, or chandeta-

wearing civilians live here.

Walking all this way to see Mi Prieto's body,

two months ago found dead.

Not believing this letter, I imagine it was a mistake.

Maybe it was another Spanish-speaking

Black man they caught.

Imagining yellow,

desert faces corralled Mi Prieto's body,

speaking in tongues of ancient times,

touching his skin and lips,

to find him dead.

Their faces were all bruised

by sand dusts of winds and stone-wedged

streets. When I approached the

village square, all the people were

poking and meticulously uncovering

every part of Mi Prieto's body. "I

have never seen someone this dark,"

a man shouted to the crowds in Arabic.

It is not to be mistaken; there were people

darker than my yellow hue,

but my husband...

The yellow on my husband's feet,

and the palm of his hands, were all purple manure. …

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