A Poem for the New World
Jessica Helen Lopez

In the land of the white cranes
skyscrapers and bank buildings
glisten like the seven cities of gold.

Bricks sweat beneath a blood-fueled
sun and the dark-skinned arms of men
are etched in glyphs. Everywhere
everybody is a sacrifice.

I am not an optimist but I pretend
to be. It gets me jobs. Secures
my place in the academe.

Mostly I scribble salt songs
on the back of napkins. Write
dissertations for the fanatics
in love with symposiums and
esoteric words.

Mostly I wish we all believed
in murder again.

This the quiet eye
of my god.

The Mexica knew the way.
Knew that dismemberment
coupled with good ol’ blood-
letting was the answer to all
things beautifully violent.

Knew that the heart was the
only organ worth wrenching.

I was born of the Seven
Great Caves. For 200 years
I went searching. Held the sun
in place with my bare hands.

The eagle clawed the nopal.
Juice spurt from the flesh.
Talon and truth.

I, the steampunk modernity
of Quetzalcoatl. All hose,
oil and piston.

No one needs to colonize me.
I colonize myself.