To the Priest Who Told One of My Students That Holding a Forum on Campus Could Make the Kids Act Like “the Savage Latinos” He Saw on TV Burning Trump Piñatas
by Lupe Mendez
In my heart, I know a corona lays
itself a wreath around the muscle,
thorns in. It is protection. When she
tells me what you say, I grip at my heart.
I think chingate cabrón. I remember
the four winds wipe away heavy,
that this broad espalda brings you food,
brings you the building you live in.
I am el mundo named Atlas, I am
interlaced bone, the body, the candles in
your cathedral, you, cura—you do not scare
You fallible. You petty.
You clutch heartbeat in corrosive
fake meekness. You take passive and good
Catholic Santa Maria and sharpen a knife
with them. You think people like me
pray like people like you. You lay miracle
hands on ideas so brilliant you rob
them of light. You dark, your words mince—
you want us to remember we are sinners,
you shake the synapse of young minds,
tell them, no, no, be still, a lamb, awaiting field,
wait for the Son. But I tell her, I tell them all—
mis hijos, you are the children of the sun.
Our blood is slick, our eyes are full of letters
yet to be written, our llanto, one thousand
nights in prayer and days in harvest.
Cura, you think we are wild creatures, you think
we are savages. You think like every old ass
white man we’ve had to foot for four hundred
fucking years. No. You flick your tongue, preach
pendejadas to a young india, you tell her
that her heart is wrong. You show her your
teeth, then tell her not to scream. You are alone.
You are the first bestia this child
will ever have to face—but I will teach her
how to cut out your empty belly
language-filled tripas, how to clean the spineless
white soles you walk on, how to wash
out the fear from your eyes.
We will feast on you so, so, slowly.
Capture you, yes, put you in a pen, fill you
with scripture, with the pages of your broken
homilies and images of a white Jesucristo.
Make you eat your words, words for days.
Fill you full of flame and simmer.
these savages love the taste of god.