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 
                    again foreigners,
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, 
                    His favorite:
Pernil, salty from all those olives;
                    We hate it, but eat anyway 
Because we are dutiful
                    Women. Rising like a staple starch
Completely encompassed 
                    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
                    our blood
the blood of the children I will have
                    To practice the drums. 


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