Kundalini Splendor

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Poem by Allison Luterman 

Pig at the Mexican Orphanage

Either it's all okay or none of it is,
like the lonely black-and-white sow with the bristly face,

her sty filled with rotting corn cobs
and the deep irremediable odor of pigshit

halfway up the hill behind the orphanage.
Past the yard where kids congregate

by swings and slides. Past pens
of bleating goats and the busy hen-house,

I stopped to talk.
Pig you stink and I have no children,

I said. She snorted in acknowledgment
and came close, her wet snout

with its damp, snuffly nostrils like two black tunnels.
Perhaps if I had a grass wand

I could turn her back into a princess
and avert her fate of becoming carnitas or jambon.

Perhaps if I dared to scratch behind her ears.
There are those whose pens

are definite and wooden, and others
whose only cage is the leaden sky

of their own mind.
Look here, in the exact center of my
divided heart where the blood
is always busy, rushing and returning,

where old questions lie
like quartered rotten potatoes

flung on the compost heap
to spring back new again and whole.

Tell me: when they weigh my heart
against the feather of truth

will it crash the scales like a hammer
to the back of a pig's skull

or float straight up to Heaven
like the shrieks of these children

which reach me, faintly, no matter
how high I climb? Bright sparks

from the welder's arc, they know the language
of foot and soccer ball, frijoles y tortillas, just as I know

abandoned may mean alone, desolate, bereft-
or finally free to feel everything.

- Allison Luterman

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