Nocturne: Guantánamo y Perú

by Tara Mesalik MacMahon

Yo soy un hombre sincero
De donde crece la palma.
Y antes de morirme quiero
Echar mis versos del alma.
Guantanamera, guajira, Guantanamera…”
José Martí

En Perú, I dream in peach       
and oleander. Music almost,               
escuchando escuchando. 
And from condor bones, 
these flutes like white feathers, 
my grieving dream.
“Guantanamera, guajira 
Guantanamera.” And of the sun,
the virgins of Machu-Picchu—child 
hands, child mouths, child wings. 
Meanwhile, angels 
in the village Ollantaytambo—
in the half-light of half-dark, 
bailando, bailando. And bright-bloom 
their sombreros with bells 
of amaryllis—as to say, guajira—
Yes, our ancient sisters
died, drained by men playing
gods. They died. Drained 
of pert and fire, but not of song.