Friday, February 26, 2010

The Numbers of US-for my grandparents' anniversary

The Greeks had 4 types of love
Yours, like most, started with 1 or 2
Then gradually grew to all
Necessary for the 60 years of you and he
21,900 days of unity
2 lives turned into 29
9 children became 14—
Grandchildren, resulted in 6—
Equals the sum of
A love story begun
6 decades ago
Off the coast
Of 1 continent away
On a 2-island nation
Population 636,000, as of 1950
Funny, that he should find she
That these 2 became 1
Under the Trinity of Holy Ghost, Father, Son—
Granter of innumerable blessings
To bear this pair from day 1 to eternity.
We're not as related as before, you and me
I am a synthesis of multiple ethnicities
From the way that I walk
To the way that I talk
You are my brother--
Down to the very last strand
Of your DNA
But I am mixed, and you are not
For eight years we shared a classroom
Sometimes a bedroom, the experiences
Of our trans-cultural childhood—
The stories of our heritage.
Then you forgot.
The foods, you grew to dislike.
The mother/father lands, you didn't know.
I am not American, and I am,
But you always are.
You have been this and then that
While I am always those and these
"I am Mexican," you might say
"I am not just," I would think
"Don't you remember," I might ask
"Remember what?" you would answer
That Tamar of Genesis is our mother
And Judah is our father
That our great-step-grandmother was a Trini witch
That Zapata was our comrade
That your blood is European, your skin Indian
While your hair is French, your eyes Chinese
"I am me" you would say
Not wanting to be taken apart
"And I am me, but these are us, "I would know
Liking the pieces
"We’re just brown," you'd say
"Not just," I'd answer.
Which is why we are less related now
Than then
Because I am mixed
And you are not.