You come with your guns
and wagons to drag us from the cliffs. Their stone red in the desert sun.
Beasts that rose from volcanic fire. They have protected our village
and inside their caves, we have painted our gratitude. The bones of our dead
linger as gates to an another life, ancestors dye the wind dark
with their shadows. We see them pass; and they have warned of you.
You will take us to a camp. Clothe us in shame
and stuff our tongues with new words
that have no sacred roots, no taste of the wild, And with women
like me, you will corset our breath and coil our hair
binding both with hooks and pins. Preparation for something
found in bride, bridle or bribe. I can't remember which one
but in any language, I know this -- you separate us
from our house and customs, leaving swallows to dwell in the cliff.
Our pathos in their birdsong, their earthen gourds
filled with the scent of dust.