by Pablo Medina
People walk by me unaware.
A dog scratches her fleas and bites her side.
I dangle over the void
like a marionette in mid-strut.
Someone is pulling the strings,
someone goes home in a sangfroid
moment and curtsies before the king.
The king of what?
Of all the elements, especially the sticks
and stones that maul my bones.
Tell that to the pols and their folderols.
What are you hiding?
I hide my lisp, my crisp consonants,
my glottal stops, my slurred vowels.
You’re not from here. I’m not
from anywhere. Then why howl?
I am not howling, I’m gulping.
It’s a trait of translation. My English
is not perfect. It’s a steep downhill
to the music of the flatlands, identity in tatters.
Daily I dance my furtive fandango.
My words are the ground and the wail of the sea.
Published on December 8, 2017