Thursday, September 28, 2017

US Territory

Puerto Rico always ever the bullseye
For the US Navy or hysterical
Hurricanes riding sins of weakness,
Always a port, and only ever a port
On the sea of dispatched goods,
Where retirees walk the gangplanks

To cherish the kitsch of island life,
Hispanic spices in the mix, on facades
And the smiles of waiters and maids
And shopkeepers meeting the high
Mainland expectations you saved for.
To fishermen, and those who can never

Get off, that passport is like the branch
Aeneas rips from the earth, his ticket
To the underworld where Puerto Rico
And Detroit poison in hatred's blood;
You would have to have a heart of steel
To see no tomorrow in your kid's face.

Puerto Rico always ever the bullseye,
And civilization our only offer
For location location location, smack
In an archipelago the whole world 
With air forces and armies and navies
Wants a piece of, land where you do 

What's necessary, what's demanded,
What made you go in the first place—
The natives, citizens like Souix, Pawnee,
Theirs in prison for acts of terrorism,
The word itself a kind of terrorism, stuck
Behind bars for defending mother’s house.

Now, imperial winds arrive to clear out
The coffers, and toss around the remains
Of bankers’ properties, battering shacks
Along the coast into concrete slabs; rafter 
Boards and faucet fixtures in sunshine
Once it turns north to become The News.

Puerto Rico was never not a bullseye,
Bombarded off the coast like a pile of sand;
Flagged as was the moon, it still feels
Like conquistador colonists yet thrive
And treat the natives just as we do, 
And for all the same glittering reasons.

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