There is something familiar

and deeply exquisite in
the way my island brown
crescendos against
your mainland brown in this

bastardized communion of

flesh more god than divine image.

And this is not to say that

the personal is always

political, or

however the saying goes, but

there is a certain relish in

tangling fingers through
curls that crave aceite de coco
as much as my own

And is not a prayer like this

a most defiant of independence days?

Is there not a kind of gleeful beauty in

ringing in Carnaval de Febrero with
un Grito de Dolores? Is there not
a certain reclaiming
of long-colonized soil

when our bodies ripen upon it?

And this harvest may never reach past
the next sunrise on the skyline,
and we may return
to a richly platonic
of each other’s art and


-ness, but
let us revel in
shared histories of
waters crossed, be they
Big River or   gaping Gulf,
in our shared lengua
Europeans left stained across

our ancestors’ tongues,

in a child of Cacike Anacaona and
a child of Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin meeting
countless lifetimes after
conquistadores thought they
had beaten us down   if only for one
seditious night.