Howl

Illegal Crossings

What a circus, in the land of the free, the once free,
a land, a people, misnamed by a misguided seaman who rightly
knew the earth went a round
then wrongly sailed off the edge of
what goes around comes around
into whatever’s around can be taken and bound

Brothers Vasquez, what a circus, “Coyotes” and illegal crossings
from Mexico to the U.S., from the U.S. to Mexico, trunks full of hope
pass through dollar size holes
humans and animals with no traveler’s checks
What a circus under the sale of entertainment
shipment of a soul in a tractor-trailer
holes in the heavenly hem that should’ve never been opened
an innocent Indian, an Indian elephant, named Benny
by his slavers
forced against his will to cross open water
against his Hindu homeland’s beliefs
across the open grief
of barrierless exploitation

He sails, for sale, around the Cape of Good Hope
to the Lone Star State, alone in the land of the free, in the state of  borderline slavery
home of the brave, where the deer and the antelope play?
but the Indian, Indian elephant pays in chains
for others’ gain

This sideshow crossing, tried to hide said Benny’s identity
behind an alias and tried to trick
this illegal alien to perform and conform
under a name from a make believe place
this Big Top was no Fantasyland and
Benny is no “Dumbo”

Benny knows his real name, and his real home, and the borders crossed
from free state to slave state
from homeland to Texas to Mexico
he’ll make his Alamo, against slavery
he’ll take a stand
a last stand on his first name
Benny

Benny
draws a line in the sand, he puts his foot down
he will not perform to the sound of another indignity
he has a name, he has ears
he is not Dumbo, this is not Disneyland
he takes a stand, to bring all of us to the Promised Land
into a centered ring
to sing home, home of the brave and land of the free
to
marry what is sung and what is done

2/15/01

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