;

CREATION by Gerardo Pacheco Matus

They made me with bones, white, yellow, brown & dusty bones, heavy & hollow, broken & shuttered, they made me with bones no one has ever claimed, bones no one will ever bury...

                                        after Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Riding with Death

They made me with bones,
white, yellow, brown & dusty bones,
heavy & hollow, broken & shuttered,

they made me with bones
no one has ever claimed,
bones no one will ever bury,

they blew through my hollow bones,
they hummed the saddest song
as they snapped bones
to make them fit into my skeleton,

they tied my clavicles with deer sinew
& whittled tree limbs to fix my legs,
they nailed sea shells on my skull
with heavy & black maguey thorns,

they plastered my rib cage with black clay,
they unwrapped my vertebrae
from a bundle of banana leaves
they baked over a layer of charcoal,

they assembled my crumbling bones
with their long, sluggish hands
like one assembles marimba bars,

they mixed dirt & crushed charcoal
to paint my bones, they woke me up
when they poured handfuls of desert
sand into my empty mouth,

I tasted the dirt,
coarse & rough,
against my jade teeth,
I felt hungry & thirsty,

I learned to cry,
I didn’t stop until they gave me
a bowl of corn mash
to ease my thirst & hunger;

 

Tags: , , ,

About Gerardo Pacheco Matus

Gerardo Pacheco Matus
Gerardo Pacheco Matus, a Mayan native, is the recipient of a fellowship from CantoMundo, the Joseph Henry Jackson Award from The San Francisco Foundation and a Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Work-Study Scholarship. His poems and essays have appeared and are forthcoming from La Bloga, Spillway, Transfer, Grantmakers in the Arts, Apracity Press, Amistad, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, El Tecolote, Cipactli, Poets Responding to SB1070, The Packinghouse Review and West Branch Wired. Pacheco was selected to participate in the “Pintura : Palabra” National Ekphrastic Workshops in tandem with the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Travelling Exhibit, "Our America: The Latino Presence in America Art." His manuscript, Child of the Grasses, was chosen as finalist for the Andrés Montaya Poetry Prize in 2016.