CREATION by Gerardo Pacheco Matus

/ / home, Issue 10, Poetry

                                        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;