Mind Core

For Francisco X. Alarcón, RIP

It considers those men that ambled &
Flushed their swords & cut off the neck
Of the blue horses & scraped off death
Dust from the carcass — rape of women
Tresses in boilers — the tin-colored animals
On the viridian grasses in particular the
Howler Monkey let the word shoot up
To the spheres — later we charged our
Blood with these accounts we hid the arms
Unforgiving texts & designs sewn into
Our tiny alabaster lockets. We visited
The last ridge where Victor Jara
Denounced the paramilitary — from
La Obrera in the heights of  Tijuana we
Sketched the reddish moon & scratched
Poems those things that could carry
The letters we hauled on our backs.
We were separated from something we
Could not describe yet we were in
The totality in the long winding turquoise
That broke us & put us back together
Again. What was that totality? It could
Not be written — Green moon, green blood — 
We wrote. We marched to the ends of
Lacanjá Chansayab & the heights
Of El Colorín Central México. We were too
Late — the waters in which people bathed
Were cloudy & malignant — bellies
Bloated children leaned on the twig
House women stood up some sat cross-
Legged under the fire rays of noon — 
We knew they knew the rubble land
Was not theirs or ours it was stuffed into
The cigarette packs of the Ladino
Hacendados who kicked up their short
Boots in the City of Bones below.
With our faces in new faces we rolled
Back to LA. Do you change it? Do you
Leave it the same?

Words — what are they?
A new cognition was required — then
With the ecstasy of the unleashed
Other things pulled us apart. Other things
Reassembled us.

Now we are here.

More Poems by Juan Felipe Herrera