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Matanza Blood

Posted by arley sanchez on May 3, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Sleepless night, dreams of Matanza morning

snip at the darkness where the terror walks,

but today it seems held at bay,

outside in the cold iron morning, my family

works in sunny camaraderie,

roasting green chile in pungent smoky cedar,

sweet and smoky

like the hollow of a young girl's neck.

Muffled laughter to dirty jokes,

women gossip, men boast laugh and lie.

Sizzling chicharones silenced

in red chile and a warm tortilla.

My uncle strums his time-nicked guitar

a couple dance on a floor of dirt and hay.

Smoky cedar girl winks from the fire,

but I look away, afraid.

She knows a young boy's fear

and rubs away the blush on my cheek.

Her cold face against mine fragrant

like herbal Yerba Buena.

My dreamy vision shattered by my father's yell,

the pig roasted, now the lamb’s time.

My father hands me a tugging rope,

on the other end a lamb upside down

twirling in a pirouette of fear.

a sound like a baby crying;

I remember the serene,

silent plaster lamb lying at Christ's feet

in the church, as the practiced fatal slap

of leather beats against steel.

Fear drips freshly cut in sanguine

cedar smoke; I grip cold steel

and a meadow lark sings in the field,

melting away fright and pain,

painting the ground scarlet wet.

My father passes a whiskey bottle

and I drink, at last a man.

Cedar girl’s eyes rimmed in red

and my heart sinks in sorrow

as I empty the bottle in the mud.

My father picks up the bottle

and walks away

shaking his head

tosses the whiskey bottle

high into the air.

It falls into the fire

and explodes

in a garland of flames.

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