Spike-heels scuffed from the journey through night,
sway down the bitterness of this street
where black muscle laid the black tar
and raised the white lintels of front doors.
They swish by, whispering the sweet lies of this place
where the Church of the Sacred Heart is in constant
so none will purloin God’s jewels):
“Welcome,” they murmur,
“Welcome to your street of dreams!
O! You Cortezes seeking your city of gold!
(and leaving behind your LaMalinche, well mangled.)”
It’s animal-groping for survival,
staving off the hunger that slams
their knees to the concrete
(but it’s not about prayer)
in a nation built on the slavery
it proclaims is over,
in the marrow of this street).
“Magdalena” originally appeared in Iconoclast Literary Magazine.