The chain link knows nothing of beating hearts, of lax
flesh or parting fingers. Knows nothing of separation.
How it splits a mother’s chest open like manzana
beneath a sutured knife. Juice of the blood. How
a father becomes impotent because politicians
are in bed with the business men. Brown bodies
turn a profit when they are behind fences.
How babies are interned. How brown babies are interned.
The chain link and the aluminum blankets can’t hear.
They own neither ear nor eye. No sight. No sound. Only
malleable chemistry that is fashioned, shaped as
accoutrements to incarcerate the child-bodies,
rounded up and splayed upon slabs of pavement.
The pavement never remembers.
The paper doesn’t know if it is a green card or not.
Doesn’t know the difference between a passport
and a deportation warrant. It certainly doesn’t care
if it is a page in the bible or a constitution.
The desert is just a desert. In all its glittering,
thirsty glory. It was merely born that way. It never
knew and will never know about man made borders.
A prison is only a collection of angles and hooked wire.
It doesn’t understand it was meant to be a jail cell.
A jail is unknowing of itself. It cannot recognize grief
All of the keys and all of the locks in this world
will never suffer. But metal can be a dangerous
thing. This we know.
We know that men, in the name of power
and devotion to the coin will eat the poor
for dinner. Will place us on plates
of gold. Tuck the linen into the starch of the collar. Wet
lips with the blood of the innocents and call
it a delicacy.
Their wives will exclaim over the recipe,
the exotic snuff of it. Pick their pearly whites
with our bones.
We know. I know, they gobble the spirit of their
brothers and sisters never to
acknowledge we are kin.
This is how animal becomes less than human.
How human is less than the blood it was born in.
Even less than machine and metal and tool.
This is how their teeth are akin to chainlink.
Their tongues a paper ballot. The ink
dribbles from the sides of their mouths as they chew.
Masticate their jaws. Pay their dinner bill with plastic.
The ones who own everything. Who own
the mineral, the land, the stainless-steel toilets
in all of the prisons. Who think they own you,
Who don’t understand that the heart is a
manzana. An apple that grew from the tree
but was never enslaved by it. The branch is
a benevolent passenger.
This is how an apple is different
than chain link. How, in this knowledge,
the righteous will one day
inherit the earth.