Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tax Day


-----Please, the e-mail says,
-----do not forward political material;
-----it clogs up my mailbox.

In the towns of Aleksinac, Medosevac, Cacak,
in the cities of Nis, Novi Sad, Belgrade in Kosovo,
Serbia, Yugoslavia the bombs drop
(to stop the killing, they say.)
The fleeing & the wounded clog up
the bridges & streets.

-----Please send only personal
-----or professional mail.

In San Cristóbal de las Casas,
in Acteal in Chiapas, Mexico, the dead
clog up the villages & fields, the refugees
clog up the rectories & naves.

-----Poems & good jokes are ok.

In Centla, in the city of Villahermosa,
in Tabasco, Mexico, the disappeared,
the taken, the imprisoned do not
clog up the streets or the polluted farms;
the armed soldiers do.

-----Hold political & religious messages;
-----I've pretty much made up my mind on all that.

In Becora, the city of Dili, Maliana in East Timor,
while their wives sew Nike sport shoes in Jakarta,
the Indonesian soldiers murder & murder
those men & women with gall enough to vote,
the children simply because. Their bodies
clog up the neighborhoods, the exiles the roads.

-----I hope you understand.

In Afghanistan, the country of Rumi,
in the city of Kabul & throughout the land
the wounded, the hungry, the cold,
the desolated clog the roads & byways

In Ramallah and Bethlehem, in Jenin
in the towns of Hebron, in Jerusalem,
in Israel/Palestine the bodies clog
the streets, the roads, the ditches.
Overturned ambulances & wrecked houses
clog up the entrances & exits. The blood
of the children of Isaac & Ishmael
clog the holy land.

In Baghdad & throughout Iraq the bombs fall
& the dying clog the cities & suburbs;
in Abu Ghraib (in Bagram and Guantánamo, too)
our young are turned into torturers
& the bloodied clog the cells.

-----Be well.

Except for the bay bridge & the financial
district at certain times, our streets & bridges
are not clogged. We take care our homeless do
not clog our streets, nor our ill the hospitals.

-----I do want to hear from you.

April 15 comes with taxes due
(for those bombs, those guns
in Yugoslavia, in Mexico, in Timor,
in Afghanistan, in Columbia,
in Israel/Palestine, in Iraq) & the rich get richer
while the hungry go hungry;
the homeless, homeless; the ill untreated;
the children and youth untaught.
& when I was a boy Spam
was a meat marmalade in square cans
to feed the soldiers.

-----------------© Rafael Jesús González 2008

(first published in Reclaiming Quarterly #75;
author’s copyrights.)


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