oh your finger mulatto

oh your finger mulatto


where did you leave it

entangled in which propeller in whose maw

who preserves it as a keepsake in a small crystal vase

who uses it for shark bait

who keeps it as a chinrest while watching pelicans and


maybe, mulatto

it was food for someone dying of fear on a


wading through some river

scaling some fence

crossing some desert

to change identity.

maybe it lies with a moribund little boy who wanted to

breathe through your skin

as he fell to the deep

—manta ray of salt

waters run alive through your finger.

waters ablaze with imprints mulatto

who kissed and curdled your finger

who severed it gently . . .

you had almost drowned when the coastguard lifted you

and placed you in a pen

your finger’s missing passport betrays you


who traces your footprint now mulatto


(translated by Vanessa Pérez-Rosario, click here for the original Spanish version)

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