Amigo Warfare

Because you seize our land
and call it hope,
because you manufacture desolation

and call it right-of-way. Because
your cavalries cut our children open
to expose their hearts of coal.

Because you send a shining fleet
of your youngest men,
lust still forming in their bones.

Because their bodies rape the bodies
of our neighbours. Because you sleep
soundly through it all.

Because you divide us from our history
and install a thousand checkpoints
in between.

Because you line the streets with bricks
torn down from temples,
because our sleepless gods

wander among the missing.
Because your prophets tell us there's a heaven
but there's no more room.

Because you feed your words
into our language, and now we speak
like strangers to one another.

Because you make our women wear
their nakedness like a gem.

Because you scorch the jungles

with the counterfeit daylight of cities.
Because you intoxicate our rivers.
Because you harpoon all our whales.

Because you teach us how to torture one another
with the simplest of elements,
fire and water.

Because you offer praise and weapons
to our dictators. Because you build blockades
around those who give us strength,

brother, sister, lover, friend.
Because you send your spies out
to investigate our dreams.

Because we dream the dangerous
in which the world is fertile
with remembering, subversive

with desire. Because the old bury
the young. Because we use our sorrow
wisely, as armaments.

Because you brand our tongues
with silence. Because you watch us
in fear, even while we sing.

– Eric Gamalinda, 2007

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