Excerpt from: WHEN I WALK THROUGH THAT DOOR, I AM – JIMMY SANTIAGO BACA

Excerpt from the epic poem WHEN I WALK THROUGH THAT DOOR, I AM

…Ay Tonal,

my despair 

is the saw-tooth chain that cuts through bone, 

its growl roars through my heart 

scattering bone-dust 

and what was once anger 

is reduced to a stump, 

cut down into sizes 

that fit my heart’s black-iron stove; 

I kneel on the floor in front of my heart 

shove my despair in, watch 

the flames engulf it, 

the fire flows in blind reverence 

allowing no exit 

nor escape 

for my despair 

as its reckoning turns 

all to ash. 

And when the fires of despair burn down 

the darkness fills me 

I no longer know how 

to find my way out under the moon and stars: 

my child 

cries for me to take his hand and lead him 

out of the dark house, 

for me 

to say, it’s OK, the terror will go and things 

will get better. 

I pray, 

I get the red gasoline can and fill the chainsaw, 

check the oil, 

sharpen each claw on the chain with a file 

until the ridge-teeth gleam 

cold as a blade 

and keep chopping my anger up 

feeding it to the fire…

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