My ink is the web of life, a sunburned heart, thirty kilometers of veins, holding up the calcinated skeleton of migrants. I scribble from the tips of my fingers to the octopus buds that nestle under my tongue the stories and struggles, singing from the bed of each night.
I do not leave a moment unscribed, I cannot, it is impossible. Every molecule, every second, every gesture, every brushing up against her voice in my ear, is a story, a journaling of shadows.
I am not transcribing reality.
I am inscribing materiality with the blood of my grandfathers and grandmothers. They will not be forgotten — by you or me.
Every breath is a syllable, every heartbeat and step a wording of nomads crisscrossing the blank page. Our words matter because our lives make them inevitable, powerful, a story that you will turn to.
The human story is movement. I along with you emerged from the entrails of the mud. Our peoples made thirteen flights from the caves with wings made of dust. Each time we molted, leaving behind an albino sun, we learned to crawl on the belly of our dreams.
Every story is a fluttering in our stomachs as our eyes take in the horizons. It doesn’t matter where we started, every step, every where we stand, everyone is on a journey. Our tongue slices heaven in equal portions and everyone has a place under the constellations of our story, our word.
Our stories keep our lust, our future, alive. I listen for your crickets, your humming song, your body springing out of mine.
She ripped out your ribs to carve the skies of our long walk on the stone walls of the first night. Then she invited us to dip our fingers in your body, your blood became our first story trembling on the palm of our soul.
Ever since, each one of us rises to bury you to mark the path of memory. Your ribs became cavern and ladder connecting ancestors and ancestors-to-come, a temple for our obsidian tongue, lacerating tiny, translucent flesh offerings from our eyes.
She comes back every fifty-two years seeking the lover who will impregnate her with the milky way. Whose voice could cast a net into the cosmos to grab the spirals of tumbling stars and gasps, the orgasm of the sixth sun? Whose body will swallow the cloudy light and couple with her to keep the land spinning the web of life? Whose hands will caress, then squeeze, her breasts, her mouth, ignoring the menstruating rivers and accompany her to the wintering bends of her hips?
My family, my people, were the first skyscrapers. We would elevate our bodies, raise our hands, grazing the palms of our souls against the heavens and strike down constellations and chaos. The milky way gestated in our hands, becoming canyon and topography, tenderness and fist, grimace and contractions.
We became skyscrapers after her. She pushed each one of us out of her womb, giving us wings and sky, soil and wounds, giving us no alternative than movement.
The soles of our feet became calloused ants, our tongues the banners of her seasons, clinging to her body with the rhythms of oceanic waves.
The past can be changed only by returning with the rivers to the root of our sorrows.
My great-grandfather’s great-grandfather’s great-grandmother knew how to carefully cut their wrists to fill the sun with light and bend space with their bare hands. Their word would twist and braid the waters into the land, where we were already buried. The rivers would scrape us out of the grave of our desolation, grinding our bones into snow, ice, glaciers to slow the sun.
The rivers pulverized the songs of our ribs. Then all that was left of my grandmothers’ and grandfathers’ instructions: the intuition of rains and cloudy serpents.
I ingest my grandmother and grandfather: water, wind, soil, maize and the rapids of the hummingbird beating deep under their breasts. I am their son and ancestor, their endless trek zigzagging across my tongue.
In the end, they are the river carrying us to the past and to the future, the fresh wound of love. The river splits the atom, disperses our kisses, the labia that unfolds her body and ours.
The crickets hum, hum, hum becoming the heartbeat of the night.
The night hums, hums, hums, becoming the heartbeat of the sky.
The sky thunders, hums, thunders, hums, becoming the heartbeat of the people.
The people hum, hum, hum, syncopate with the chanting crickets, becoming the heartbeat of the insects.
The insects drone, hum, vibrate, becoming the heartbeat of the ants.
The ants tap, improvise, scribble an endless line, becoming the heart of the soil.
The soil turns, rots, impregnates the seeds, gestates becoming the heart of the rain.
The rain patters, throbs, drums, becoming the heartbeat of the mud.
The mud oozes, seeps, putrefies, becoming the heartbeat of my ancestors.
My ancestors sway, fidget, trudge, wander, becoming the heartbeat of our first kiss.
Our first kiss never ends, I suck on your tongue, your lips, our saliva commingles, becoming the heartbeat of our ancestors and descendants….
Excerpts from La revolución emplumada by arnoldo garcía.