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Mantras: Immigrantes

some say they drove for hours
in those first american days
looking for the famous blue grass, laughing
"y lo llaman azul?"

some mock college gringos
say: "oh Che"
like his communisim
were a radical dildo.

some say "con Kahlua"
en Flo-ree-da
cool honey
is a dripping fan, nights
soaked habichuelas
are bobbing tear-moons—that kind of thing.

some say european farmers
tried to make it rain in a briefcase
rather than scattering jungle
where a jungle should be.

some say "mis papeles!?"
and hunt for rolls of tissue paper
in the supermarket.

some say "andale, Carlitos"
and throw me the reins to my parents'
mixed-blood divorce, say i should ride it straight
into Havana like a rodeo pig

some say they still mumble machado-
alchemy, call out private
names for diaspora in their sleep:
Alejo, Raulito, Blanqie, Ojeda, Davita, they say,
each on rising to be counted
like panthers leaping over doubling water

- Carlos Price-Sanchez (from Sixth Finch)