Wise Poets – Yesika Salgado – Diaspora Writes To Her New Home

Yesika Salgado

I am what comes after the civil war
after the dismembered corpses
the burnt sugar cane fields
the mango tree strung with a single hanging body
the man with his tongue in his pocket
the soldiers and the guerrilla
the exodus of my grandmother’s children

I arrived after the fleeing. after the bruise was named a desert.
after the new country extended its concrete arms with re-
proach. after living in garages. huddling in small apartments.
after raising blonde children who do not know our language.
after washing cars we do not drive. after keeping home for
women with alabaster skin. after falling in love in the time of
asylum. after the alcohol took to my father’s veins. after the
family murmured his sins. after my mother cut the long coil of
her curls.

I found my way here and stayed. a fist of a girl with eyes big as a
wailing mouth. I was born with a pen under my tongue. I know
And own all words ever spoken. I am the dream and the night-
mare. the burning bush. Moses. David. Goliath. Mary Magdalene.
The Holy Virgin.
God himself,
dead and resurrected.

I am not the survival
I came after.

I am the victory
a boastful flag.

I am not a promise. I am a threat.
I am what takes and does not give back.

a new history
a forked tongue
a priestess
church and communion
a woman with her own legacy

take this, my story.
eat it and remember me.