|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
in a garland of flames.