The Immigrant Spiritual

Trumpeted children of far colored places

Your sins calligraphed on your skins and faces

The hype is real; there is talk of building high, of blocking the sun

Of raising a running shadow for runaways like you and me

We were once land brothers without borders

They will no longer keep their brothers

We were once sisters in that lifetime we birthed the earth

They will no longer keep their sisters

I repose in the long shadow, avoiding the sun on my side of the Tierra

Graffiti-ing my life on the weight of monuments. I bring you “Paz” in bold type

Hail Many, fallen gravely, look how the desert settles

So similar were our tracks, now palimpsests of whom we were

Pray for us sinners. Now, and at the hour of our death

Palm to palm, Grounded eyes and knees, we’ve served you in your language,

“On the side of the River Piedra, I

Sat and wept, catching my breath, afraid of the bloodhounds”

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