My mother often tells me
She went to a psychic just after
I was born who told her
She would always be surrounded
By money, but never have it
How we reach for the things when we’re told
They will never be ours
And how we deny them when
They come close enough to touch
To become real
Like a bird in an airport
Trapped and surrounded by
Everything else that takes flight
There are documents, paperwork, stacked
Upon the desk, the kitchen table, the bedroom shelves.
I am collecting the physical trail of my existence. I
Carry it, even, in a small plastic briefcase
To protect what is known about me.
I am registered amongst the rotting filing cabinets,
Pressed between index cards of residents,
Citizens who know nothing other than
Labyrinths and mazes. The jeitinho is merely
An evolutionary adaptation, as the world spins
Towards the global south. Perspectives may be
Skewed along axes, and now I learn to
Lean towards patience.
The self-absorbed sea air
Grinds its hands across my face.
With eyes closed, this is either
Rio or Los Angeles and the bird song
Shares no secrets.
The view is always the same:
A few chirps, the highway, a foggy
Sunrise, the soft snores of
Someone, somewhere. The wind
Carries the scent of fried breakfasts,
Bakeries, the full-bodied reminder that
People are people and despite our
Inclinations to remember the worst
Of ourselves, we forget the worst
In others. I have traveled with
My insecurities. We are no closer.
The morning comes, I
Hold my tongue for the birds.
The fine hairs of my skin shimmering
In the sunlight over the blue-tinged
Veins in my hand give me pause. I feel
Warmth, the layers of skin on top of
Blood and bone, my invisible musculature
Forming my presence in the world.
My body, my frame. I breath deeply into
The tangible experience of living in
In this body, both rooted and floating
We sing songs into our cold hands
Around a bucket full of flames.
History cools against itself, as
Flares break the skies like an
SOS to our collective memory.
We whisper this land is no land,
Just echoes of taxless frontiers
Where we weep and build and crumble.
In the morning the steam from my
Coffee makes a rainbow on the glass
Pane behind the kitchen counter
Where it sings and dew drops form
After the storm of my night.
My emotions that pass like clouds
In dreams replacing one scene with
Another with no respect to time, logic.
The taste of the coffee is bitter; the
Sun rises over the mug warming my
Fingertips and I smile in the
Ritual of a new day.