Archives of Rage, Collectively Ours

The eternal immigrant
does not write
pauper poems for
the privileged
any longer.

They gunned down
another honest man
in daylight and
in rainlight in the city
by the drained river
of his soul.

They destroy
dissent here
in my city,
one without history
as it begins
from the wild wind
wreaking havoc
on the sand and stones
taking down notes
on the prey
falling down
on the pool of his blood,
red in its anger and rage
red in its need to unmask
the shadows
hiding in shadows
they who know
how to silence
the stars in these parts
in the north with the northwinds
the same deed
they have done for so long
when our dreams were young
when our bodies were gentle and supine
when our thoughts were not ours.

And each day he comes
into the frail frameworks
of new societal loves
as it is everywhere
from temple ruins
in ruby and jade
to altars in alabaster
and ancient stones,
the ceremony of seduction
is the same: it is, indeed,
killing time again
as in the periods
of peace and prosperity
in the palace
of the dictator
doubling as a joker.

This sense of deja vu
begins with a good
grief, sacred, profane
a boon
a bane
to all the memory
that begins
with conquest
and then this erasure
in the histories of leaders
promising redemption
and relief,
their word empty
like the city river marking
death now
beyond life
when young ideas
become easy targets
for feudal lords
and crush the home
in your bleeding heart
like the vice mayor
in my city
offering himself
to the trajectories
of truth-telling
we have dutifully forgotten
for so long
because to remember
is to rage
against the days
the decades of disaster
came into the doors
and windows
of our lives
by the hours.

There, in the nook
of that memory,
there was courage
hiding beneath
and the conspiracy
of children
not saying anything
beyond seeing nothing
and that we were the children
seeing the dark deeds,
our language leased
to be owned by those
with the correct

We might call
all these
the archives
of our common rage,
ours, collectively, communally,
and then some as the stories
get to be told, unearthed,
from the centuries of abandon
to the centuries of abandonment
and the stories of sorrows
binding us all,
migrants and natives,
kibitzers and witnesses,
we who form
the angles of sadnesses
out of broken wings of angels
eternally marking the killing fields
of merciful murderers.

From here, the eternal migrant
sings a sad song for the river
of blood claiming
the blood
a dream martyred,
in this place of abuse
and absence,
the idea for reckoning
still a long way yet.

A. S. Agcaoili
March 13, 2005

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