By Juan Felipe Herrera
This is my last report:
I wanted to speak of existence, the ants most of all,
dressed up in their naughty flame-trousers, the exact jaws,
their unknowable kindnesses, their abyss of hungers,
and science, their mercilessness, their prophetic military
devotions, their geometry of scent, their cocoons
for the Nomenclature,
I wanted to speak of the Glue Sniffers
and Glue Smoothers who despise all forms
unbound, loose in their amber nectars, I wanted
to point to their noses, hoses and cables and networks,
their tools, if I can use that word now—and scales and
scanners and Glue Rectories.
I wanted you to meet my broom mother
who carved a hole into her womb
so that I could live—
At every sunset she stands
under the shadow of the watchtowers
elongating and denying her breath.
I wanted to look under the rubble fields
for once, for you (if you approved), flee
into the bullet-riddled openness and fall flat,
arched, askew, under the rubble sheets
and let the rubble fill me
with its sharp plates and ripped dust—
alphabets incomplete and humid. You,
a little closer
to the chalk dust—this child swinging her left arm,
a ribbon, agitated by unnamed forces, devoured.
Juan Felipe Herrera, "This Is My Last Report" from Half the World in Light: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2008 by Juan Felipe Herrera. Reprinted by permission of University of Arizona Press.
Source: Half the World in Light: New and Selected Poems (University of Arizona Press, 2008)
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