The Freedom to Teach a Poem

(For Eve Ropollo, in acting for Vagina Monologues)

You have it, this freedom to teach
The miracles of a poem. It is foreign,
You say, this poem that guides our spirits
To destinies we have yet to know
The guiding furious and fierce
As if to warn us of fake truths
In this exile we are heir to.

We have come this far, teacher of poems.

We have come this far
In these miles and miles of verses,
Their sounds and syntax
Vacuous and full
Fecund with the faithfulness
Of mixed metaphors
With their empty promises
We know well.

The verses you teach
Are our sorrowful
Mysteries, we who people the dreams
Of leaders who murder our memory
To be alive and real like the lines
We create out of our estranged wishes
To catch the signs that sing
Of our brown land, betrayed as always
As fake poets betray stanzas and their titles
To make us believe of loving landscapes
We will never have
We can never have.

This is why we are here in foreign shores.
This is why we are here with our foreign speech.
We try to form the lips
But the language does not come off
Not in the way we did before
Making this career to teach poems,
Their meanings in the pen we keep
To draw strange straight lines
For our souling lives.

Honolulu, HI
February 14, 2006

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