“Tempo” y “Campo” – Silvia Angulo
Written by: Silvia Angulo
Test the origins of your tempo, they will do this
pry the crack from your shell
open, its contours at the ridge
of sound and neck. A voice as low
as the tide yawns wide,
lining surface, or what you knew
Have you heard the breeze filling
your fingers, the river’s ears
resting on bitten nails?
When walking on my país, wave of land,
pure feet brown, chata dance of warmth
of foam, stalks forgotten homes. Strength can pour you down,
it spills you over, feminine in strut, masculine in talk.
First midnight we took you to the abuelos
they didn’t praise you for androgyny, or offer you
name, surname, and nickname, instead they
thrusted it on us.
Only titles and expectations, possible professions,
and then America. More and more America
with its television.
Born of El Campo, in the blood of roots
in dreams one can’t escape it.
There I have tasted
Cacao from tia’s crops
licked the coconut skin on a whim.
Squeezed by hand my own café
ate my mangos, kiwis, apples,
all fruits of the tropics.
Swallowed calloused kale and drank
bitter wine, long before I knew about intoxication.
I could chug fresh banana cream,
buttermilk homemade ice cream
in a matter of seconds, in secret
before the rooster cawed.
I would go down unpaved roads
that led to languid hills
under the lazy loving sun,
barefoot, warm dirt
smushing between toes.
I searched reaching woods to explore
until the adventure was done
and the darkness settled
at a much
than the day.
I watched fireflies linger
feeling life last longer
melting into a sleep so deep
on the porch.
Knowing what abundance
and infinity was.