Do You Think

 

Do you think this is a sad day
     a sad night
full of tequila     full of el dorado
     full of banana solitudes

And my chorizo face a holiday for knives
     and my arching lips     a savannah for chuchifritos
and my spit curls a symbol for you
     to overcharge     overbill     oversell me
these saints     these candles
     these dented cars     loud pipes
no insurance and no place to park
     because my last name is Cortez

Do you think this is a sad night
     a sad day

And on this elevator
     between my rubber shoes
in the creme de menthe of my youth
     the silver tooth of my age
the gullah speech of my one trembling tit
full of tequila     full of el dorado
     full of banana solitudes you tell me
i use more lights     more gas
     more telephones     more sequins     more feathers
more iridescent headstones
     you think i accept this pentecostal church
in exchange for the lands you stole

And because my name is Cortez
     do you think this is a revision
of flesh studded with rivets
     my wardrobe clean
the pick in my hair
     the pomegranate in my hand
14th street     delancey street     103rd street
     reservation where i lay my skull
the barrio of need
     the police state in ashes
drums full of tequila     full of el dorado
     full of banana solitudes say:

Do you really think time speaks english
     in the men’s room

 
 
—Jayne Cortez