your tomb where i cry the tears of an unwed widow

your tomb where i cry the tears of an unwed widow October 12, 2016
i read the psalms
the qur’an
and baca’s love poems from prison
looking for some sign
you were real,
you are alive.

but it is i
who was never real to you.
only your exotic, erotic dream
of an american girl
of a hollywood woman,
a thing i could never be.

for what am i?
only a child
living in the borders,
the gutters, the walls.
i am a human who refuses
to be broken and so walks
up the middle of the river.
to claim the north bank or
the south bank would rend
all that is human
into the confetti of a parade.

how could i ever be
the woman who is your
nation? i am the border
you shall never have papers
to cross. the prison wall
you shall never scale.

you long to penetrate me
but i am the expanse of desert
straddling two nations.
the border which needs no guard
because my crossers
die in my embrace.

yours is a strange nation
with the mighty river
planted in the middle, embraced
with in
and not
dividing east
from west
north
from south.

don’t fight for your country!
i cry,
nationalism is dead!

the prison
is alive
and churning with poetry.
i wait
at the foot of the watch tower
to see you
beaten and mangled
tossed on the cell floor
like so much more human trash.

i wait,
the wall,
for you to come
home
to me.

About m

My ego wants to think I'm a writer but my heart knows I'm just another one of God's Kids who sometimes has words to say. 2 human kids and 3 feline kids call me Mom. Or Mooooooom. Or mewom, depending which you ask. I'm kinda-sorta busy being a student again; this time I signed myself up for a bizarre torture known as Graduate School. Theoretically in 4ish years I'll have earned some more nice letters to put with my name. Let's face it, I'm addicted to learning and probably need rehab to restore me to sanity and remove the obsession to read books. I don't remember what free time is but I think I like to spend it sleeping or playing in the mud on a river bank.
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1 Response to your tomb where i cry the tears of an unwed widow

  1. m says:

    I feel like I need to give this one just a little background and context. First, I don’t think it quite does what I want it do as poetry. Second, there are a few threads of truth in here and a lot of myth. Someone did, once, really tell me that I was his nation now. It was said not too long after I did a ton of reading on transnational feminisms so the words got all tangled up in my brain along with the ways nationalisms and imperialisms are always gendered projects.Thus the “I” in this poem is some small part me and the specific geography of my own life and is also scrambled up with a dual “I” of conqueror and conquered. Rarely is land male, usually gendered geography renders land female in a twisted dichotomy; there’s a “homeland” or “motherland” and there’s the “otherland” which is either virginal and waiting to be penetrated or naughty and in need of being pacified and tamed. Conversely, we are all to remember that our “homeland” is another’s “otherland.” So part of this poem was an attempt to grapple with being part of this gendered geographical project.

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