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When I saw the
Acapulco port for
The first time
I saw stone and
Bone in ocean

They were there
And they are still
Here, rising in
My throat
A dark matter
That stays
A dark matter
That calls my
Name, a llanto
I heard this time

I wanted to run
From the terror
On the projector
From the classroom
I wanted to run, go, NOW

Past the building
Named after a
Eugenicist where I
Taught students about
Black people in Latin
America, where my
Ancestors were anchored
On a screen

I wanted to run
Far away from
Them and their
Pity and power
The deadliest
Of all.

I wanted to run
And run forever
From the billion
Dollar endowment
We never saw
And yet

They owe us
And now
All I see
Is the slave port
On a screen.

Octavia wrote that
You cannot know
How deeply people
Feel their ancestors

And so
My skeleton sings
A song of seashells
Laced with gold
Both element and
Mineral at once

You see?
I know.
I know.
I know.

Cecilia Caballero is a poet, writer, teaching artist, and lover of all things spooky. Cecilia is a 2023-2024 Octavia Butler Earthseed fellow and a 2023 California Arts Council fellow. She has been nominated for a Rhysling and Pushcart, and her work appears in Star*Line and elsewhere in the galaxy. Social media: Twitter/X: @la_sangre_llama, Instagram: @writingourwellness
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8 Apr 2024

the burrowing spiders, / backs the size of satellites, / orbiting your hair
And these meteors still fall to the earth.
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