Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site


Reprinted from ``Rebellion is the Circle of a Lover's Hand'' by Martin Espada, with permission of Curbstone Press, Willimantic, Conn.

For Katherine, one year later

About these ads

In Jayuya,

the lizards scatter

like a fleet of green canoes

before the invader.

The Spanish conquered

with iron and words:

``Ta'ino'' for the people

About these ads

who took life

from the pl'atanos in the trees,

those multiple green fingers

curling around unseen spears,

who left the rock carvings

of eyes and mouths

in perfect circles of amazement.

So the hummingbird

was christened ``colibr'i.''

Now the colibr'i

darts and bangs

between the white walls

of the hacienda,

a racing Ta'ino heart

frantic as if hearing

the bellowing god of gunpowder

for the first time.

The colibr'i

becomes pure stillness,

seized in the paralysis

of the prey,

when your hands

cup the bird

and lift him

through the red shutters

of the window,

where he disappears

into a paradise of sky,

a nightfall of singing frogs.

If only history

were like your hands.

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.