Tuesday, May 23, 2017


After Alex Tizon’s article "My Family’s Slave" as regards Eudocia Tomas Pulido 
(The Atlantic, June 2017)

Other Worlds

Nothing is excused; in a world where
no thing no quarter is given and they/you
the writer continually lean hard to left
or right excavate interiors exteriors to
not exonerate yourself or your parents
or to completely obliterate the woman
supposedly your “lola” (is not an option);

Nor is the reader’s first glance nor the whole
reading taken in piecemeal finally ingested
into the blood must will intend then drink
the interior of your body her pain our its
numbness their outrage as shared and
reposted to the thin lining of the cornea
the screen of her outing into the world via
journalists kuyas yayas cousins FB friends
Tweeters scholars the many doors care-
fully cemented identities of generosity guilt
kindness knowingness curiosity prods us;

Does not exonerate us woven into viscous
social fabrics cost effective marketplaces
family compounding mortgages long-term
lease loans student debt cycles of remembering
not remembering feast and famine cakes; let them
eat “not even the possibility” thus the sacrificial
journeys as if there were still other worlds
to explore resources labor bodies to extract ore
we are not the ones enslaved are we—always
leaving coming and going thinking we bear the gifts.

Jean Vengua is an artist, poet, community activist and author of Prau (Meritage Press, San Francisco & St. Helena, 2007).

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