Thursday, September 02, 2004

Ghost (poem)

If you go out at night
you will see a ghost one day

The warning and wisdom of a mother
a prophecy unheeded

I lay under the covered of a fluffy bed
fully dressed awaiting for the sleepy bugs
to close my parents' tiring eyes

It's almost midnight
I tiptoe to the rhythm
of my parents' breathing like a burglar
and enter the bathroom

As I open the window
I flush the toilet to disguise the sound and crawl out
standing on the ledge of the second floor apartment building
I wonder how I will get down to the ground

Fear is no in the vocabulary
of an invincible 15-year-old

I slide down the black drainage pipe
only to face a 10-foot fence blocking my way

The alluring darkness hypnotizes me
turning back is not an option
I climb over the fence and disappear
in darkness

As I lay under the covers of a stiff double bunk bed
on this modern-day slave plantation called the Prison Industrial Complex
the ghost sleeps with me


Blogger Kei said...

Hi Eddy,
Your poem reminded me of a poem my best freind, Maristella wrote a while back. It was published in a website for a local magazine in San Jose called De Bug. I copied it and pasted it here:

Ghost Dance
Poem by: Maristella Huerta

I was told I was a relic of the past
a fossil, an arrowhead, a shard of ancient pottery
under the merciless heat of a curator's tracklight.
My absence for everyone to see
my ghost on display.

I dreamt my flesh disappeared from my bones.
I was running.
Wind in my hair like the nameless women "Adelitas"
Ready to die and live in the same breath.
Traversing the trail of tears with my stride.
Stretching open my legs to leap over the middle passage,
that cruel pussy that swallowed our African sisters and brothers
in an act of reverse birth.

Suddenly my muscles fell from my bones
disintegrated into thin air.
My skin melted away into the thick presence of memory.
I was a running shadow
with invisibility as my only weapon.

My skeleton fell apart...

Still, I darted across the landscape,
continuing my escape.
frightfully aware that I was leaving behind fragments of my body,
bones and memories.
They would return to me, or I to them,
In the form of ghost stories.

In school they told us to not believe in ghosts.
How can I not believe in myself?
In school they told me that my people were extinct.
Extinct like a species of animal, a classification of a plant,
An old yellow photograph of a people, anonymously familiar
Lost in the memory banks of our country's historical amnesia. Hysterical amnesia.

I am the living ghost.
The ghost that reminds them
that we are here and gone at the same time.
We are ancient and new-born
Reinvented in spirit and flesh.

When I awoke from my dream I retraced the path I had ran the night before.
Pulling together the fragmented skeleton of my memory,
I dug up my hands and feet
and danced with them.
With my feet I stomped memories into realities.
With my hands I clapped the past into the present and my ancestors joined me
in my

I tell you, you don't have to be dead to be a ghost
You just have to be willing to dance with the dead.

9:21 PM  
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