Saturday, April 30, 2016

"Moroccan" hair

Last night my mother and I
were chatting about our hair
about caring for it, about oil
and I mentioned that my sister
didn't need to do what we did.
"Her hair isn't coarse like ours;
she doesn't have our Moroccan hair"
And it's driven home that
the reason We are seen ethnically European
is our ancestors failed to flee
across 9 miles of water and
assimilated, pulled
away from themselves
when the words left their
Jewish-Moorish mouths,
"...Et in Iesum Christum,
Filium eius unicum, Dominum
nostrum, qui conceptus est
de Spiritu Sancto,
natus ex Maria Virgine..."
Pled, "no, no, yo soy católico
Verme aquí, mientras
mis personas dejen
Es decir, aquellas personas
Soy un buen ... un buen católico
Un católico. dame mi casa, mi profesión
No enviarme al exilio."
aquellas personas - their family,
their people, their history, denied
Made into an other
for the sake of assimilation.
Who would we be if they had fled,
how would they see us?
Either way their blood shows
in my mother and I. Our
Moorish hair. Could-have-been Moroccan hair.
Jewish- or perhaps precisely
Sephardic hair. What my family
usually hides under Just Spanish-ness
hair, on my head and my arms,
my toes sprouting genetic memories
DNA expressing the blood
that carries on from under assimilation.
Even my body wishes to incribe
in us where our people have been.
I don't understand why she doesn't
want to return with me.