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we is

By Sami Miranda

in conversation with the work of wilfredo valladares and ayo ngozi

we is not the singular
dotted i, black figure against
a white background.

we is the crowd
that moves into this
dance of morning
rituals, this waking
to the rooster crow of a city.

we is the dance
that shakes and rolls
down city streets,
shimmies into markets
for fresh fruit
salsas against traffic.

we is the traffic
rushing past the living
and the dead, forgetting
to write our songs
from images and found objects
and breathe each other's spirits
into chinese medicine bottles
so we can heal
the wounds of our entrances
and exits

we is the song
of migration, sung
from behind the masks
fragile resin, cast from
faces whose eyes must remain
closed so their pasts
do not pour from them,
so their present does not
burn away home.

we is home
where we are pieced together,
a collage on sheet metal,
a photograph behind a mask,
an image
that carries us into
conversation, about
holding a conversation about
a crowing rooster
a ritual,
and medicine
to cure what ails you.

Added: Wednesday, July 2, 2014  /  Used with permission.
Sami Miranda
Photo by Mignonette Dooley.

Sami Miranda is an educator, poet, and visual artist who makes his home in Washington, DC. His work has been published in Full Moon on K St, the Chiron Review, DC Poets Against the War Anthology, MiPoesias, and Beltway among others. He has performed at the Kennedy Center, The Smithsonian Museum of American Art, The Arts Club of Washington, GALA Theatre, and other venues.  Sami curated the Sabor Sunday reading series in Washington DC, bringing two poets, a trio of musicians, and two visual artists into conversation, and is currently working with DC based artists and musicians to create collaborations between the arts. He develops and facilitates interactive poetry workshops for youth and adults and holds an MFA from The Bennington Writing Seminars.

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