Water’s Wound on the Toes
In the middle of this American Dream,
I am here, but you wake me up, you
the farm’s water’s wound on the toes.
You are Ilokano in the syllable
of a thought that wanders like this sadness
driving away this Hawaiian ennui.
I rise up from sleep so I can confront
you in each step that leads
to the cold of January, the time
the drizzle begins to fall, and then
the rushing light rains, and then the raging
downpour overnight that becomes a deluge
on the palm of those claiming
citizenship of this land. I am that,
or I am one of them. We cry to
the heavens, sick with longing of the plains
of Kunia like the worn souls queuing up,
the Ilokano workers of the soil bidding goodbye
to the earth they furrowed
to the fields they struggled with
so what with the gathering of the night in Waipahu
the darkness of not knowing where to go
accompanies them home. On the dining table,
we partake of something that warms
the epigastrium, the wild fowl
that in the other island permits itself
to be hunted so that on my plate
would my hungry portion be,
I who sold my strength and welfare the whole day.
In my falling asleep, you, water’s wound on my toes,
you are the yield of all agreements
when I lie to welcome my bruised body.
At the end of a hue-filled dream
you are there, in the interstices
and curves of words: these cannot be
interwoven with a story’s prologue. You are
a pain that does not go away, water’s wound,
in the middle of moist toes that feel
the absence of the soil I know
the loin of the tillers that dance in joy
with the father’s, or a mother’s lullaby.
Water’s wound: remind me
of the bygone days. You wake me up
from this nightmare. In my running after
the watchful hours that wake up so early
in these days of aimlessness, you be there
in each moment, become the beat, the pulsing
of the enchantment of love. Water’s wound:
you reside in this slumber,
in the warm pillows, in the Ilokano blankets
that are feverish so that on my bed
would be the thought that goes to rest.
Water’s wound, you who reminds,
please come home to me. Come.
Jan 15, 2012