Fulano

Call me Fulano.
I am a poet
come armed with the gift of fire.

I do not revel in memories of when we were kings
taking pride in conquered lands
my mixed blood on too many different hands
to hate recklessly

words of ancestors
who have no home to remember
no history to explore.

History is the autobiography of the victor
repeating again and again
as borders cross people
civilizations in ruins
cultures resemble Rubik's cubes
several squares missing . . .
incomplete
incomprehensible
tossed aside like last year's forgotten Christmas gifts from relatives a thousand miles away
wrong size
wrong color
no receipt
no return.

I look to the future so my children will not die with the past.
These are the good old days
my father's stories from another time
his father's from another place.

There is no beginning or end
no rise or fall.
It is now and then and later.
It is other and none of the above.

Our history is a nick in the canon.
There is no Barnes & Noble category for it.
They are not ready.

They are not ready for the barriers to fall
James Baldwin on shelves next to Stephen King
across from Aloud and the collected works of Whitman and Neruda
under a banner
Native literature

the artist once again known as Prince plays in the background
the multi-hued masses relax
sip thirty-five cent cups of espresso
laugh at the melted pot
an unidentifiable masshumanity . . .

Call us Fulano.
We are poetry
the future written on walls of ivory
towers sinking under their own weight
flames shooting from our fingertips
our name written in ash for all to see . . .

At the base of the tower
standing over the dying embers
the word slammed into irrelevance
I stare out at the crowd--
Romans scream for my blood
dissatisfied with my soul--
the spent match falls from my hand . . .

To have come so far for this seems such a waste.

by Guy LeCharles Gonzalez

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