Fly Away Home
by Eva Campney
are a people of percussion.
into rhythms, wholly possessive
Beats of the hand
felt through the body,
Thumps of passions
on the brink of over-flow,
Shared conditions of the blood.
Vibrating the City or
Spattered in suburbs on the weekends,
The bump of the conga, the tumbão,
the meaty hands of men
on the djembe, the cajón,
tan bodies stained red, smooth and curved
Like our own.
We keep them in the basement
so we won’t disturb the neighbors;
Hands slapping tau(gh)t skin
from the heart,
beatings seeping into bones;
“Until they learn,” Daddy says,
“Until they erase the word No.”
Until they are utterly obedient,
Until they learn/we learn
To tell lies
And we are
even to ourselves.
You have it easy, Mama says;
Our big brown eyes and long curls
In shiny vinyl heels every Sunday
clacking on grimed tile
sounds just like Daddy’s belt
when he doubles it in his hands,
Huge and soft from a life centered on carnes,
Pernil, salty from all those olives;
We hate it, but eat anyway
Because we are dutiful
Women. Rising like a staple starch
in boiling water,
We are purely hand to mouth.
Father ferries himself between three jobs,
But home, still finds the energy
Built into his blood
the blood of the children I will have
To practice the drums.