The suitcase was stuffed
with scorpions, with clay pots and dirt
roasted corn and fava beans, with pans of warm bronze
of dulce de leche and quince
canvas bulging from the lunges of poisonous snakes.
Our destiny was to be far from the aroma
of plantain and tree tomato
ripened on the lips of roofs.
Our destiny was like my father's -
a couple of schellings in the pocket pierced by a star
he said goodbye to his father with the idea of detaching himself
like a caracol rooted in chasms of tenderness
no time to take the black doll
whose arm was stitched so often the thread held time
and no time to take the knee socks
I wore on the last day of high school
no time to take the trees I climbed by myself
to the middle of a hive that buzzed between my temples
no time to take the warmth of the popcorn pot
no time to take the way I skipped rope in the courtyard
no time to take
the family album embroidered in cross stitch
destined to the parting
destined to lemon-grass teas
steeped in tears that flushed our hearts
we left with the hot coals of a fate not chosen
we arrived before we knew it
men with fish eyes and the accent of crude ants detained us
you must declare all the dirt that you are bringing
you could be fined
you cannot bring food to this country
you will be fined
defensively we declared our pots of roasted corn and fava beans
we lifted our underthings trembling
and felt what it was to step foot on land not our own
they inspected all we had
and did not pay attention to the snakes.
From that day on
we came to know the destiny of border
to make love to snapshots yellowed
by the distance of their background.
We opened up the suitcase
and from that day on
hummingbirds in exile.
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