All those memories

From the brown bricks of a very square courtyard
To the cold railings of the balconies
Geraniums after geraniums
That one crucifix staring into my soul

All those nuns on the plaza
My bastard unbaptized body walking across it
Who knows what I’ll become
Jasmine on her flying carpet
Cinderella and her prince charming
Jack London on the Excelsior.

That same violence
That same racism
And all those saints in all the names
Those streets, those schools, those bus stops
Something here hasn’t gone down
Something monstrous

On television those scorched women
Another slightly jealous
And drunk
Which woman today can’t cook
Sew and listen?
I speak louder than the vacuum cleaner
Yet not loud enough to be heard from the other side?

Out of the ghetto
We good girls, straight-laced
Well-meaning and well-mannered
Make way for the unthinkable
For wilderness
For freedom.

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