The Gospel of Ometéotl, the Brown Adam

People walk through you, the wind steals your voice, 
 you’re a burra, buey, scapegoat,
forerunner of a new race,
half and half — both woman and man, neither —
 a new gender.
                          —Gloria Anzaldúa

Jasmine garlands thin
             for the rib’s cartilage ring.

The heart shudders with pure mission.

                                                         She spreads
                                                         & knows herself as Adam,

                                                         but through himself,

                                                         he is Eve.

            He knows but what the garden gives:

                        the garden’s soot
                        awakened tongueless in root.

            Cerise chrysantha
                        coils around his leg.

            Gathering the tides
                                    of the seas to his side,
                                    she conceives

                                    where impossibilities seed.

            Clarity burning coal,                he takes two knots

                                                of grass
                                                & strings

                        four birds-of-paradise

            through the ceiba’s rotted leaves:

                                    she fashions the sorrows
                                    from winter’s purse,

                                    & sun

                                    sifted for sum.

                        Entrammeled, Ometéotl rises
                                    one among one

                        body stitched in strange altar.

More Poems by J. Michael Martinez