At The Gate Of Muwadi

by Victor D. Sandiego

Naked my ritual life I reach the metropolis of crooked tracks
and tombstone walls. A door plate thwacks and I see your eyes at last,

Muwadi. Give me a bone to ease my leg; these streets are wider than my stride.
And a blanket please to soothe my raw and reddened skin.

Baptismal we sprinkled our freedom when I pulled sacrifice from your chest
and dropped its steel dripping on the thirsty earth

to plunge a child into this world, an offspring of my confession
to settle where my heart could scale the skies again. 

These unhappy realms I carry in my sack: they’re tired of tears and inscriptions
of scarlet claws. Give me a cask of wine and I will sweeten their rivers.

Remember when we were boys, how we left our primitive toys
discounted on the ground, abandoned our primitive town of small ships

for a chance to wager on the larger Earth we prized and how we devoured
a continent of strangers?

And though we held the same love close, we parted on the western coast
when the south threw golden trumpet notes in my ears.

If not for our history of sharing, or the illumination of our faces in the pregnant
morning, then for those seeds we once spit upon the ground,

Muwadi. To think: many have sprouted berries, and to this day flourish –
in the beautifully wild throats of resplendent birds.

This piece first appeared in Dirty Chai, Winter 2014.

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