The Alien – Socrates Domingo

 

Crooked fingers corroded by toil

covered by warped, scaled skin

appending plastic to metal to plastic

nose impervious to corrosive fumes

in freezing assembly lines

creating dolls for your brats

while erecting a Great Wall

between me and famine

yet not begging

to nourish in love the lone child state quota permits

conditional upon her listening to dogma

from the deified chairman’s red book

and playing barbie to the commissar

a woman whose voodoo doll is pierced in Detroit

juggles her tasks from sunrise to sundown

a job thief to you

to me, she is Mother.

 

He wakes up before sunrise

and walks a mile to the sweatshop

assembling denim cuts for your jeans

for your school boys, farm boys and cowboys

no time for himself to learn reading in school

to think freely and become philosopher-king

except to learn by rote the mandatory verses

broke his promise to fly a kite with me

to carry the world on his shoulders

and lay porridge on the table

for mother and siblings

cheap labor to you

to me, he is Brother.

 

Crossing the Rio Grande

with shirt on his back still wet from the swim

risked death in the deep murky river

under the unrelenting desert heat

or predators' guns

to get hired shearing lettuce and tomato

under the oppressive heat of the sun

enduring abusive scowls

of the new plantation bosses

to afford the middle class its cheap Wal-Mart salad

and for me, vermin-infested shelter

and a cheap taco to keep my body and soul together

with a patina of doled out dignity

an illegal alien to you

to me, he is Father.

 

Oppressed by the weight of ages

of hopelessness and despair

from pharaoh’s land of poverty and fear

yet unwilling to give up the ghost of the dream

they gave their backs to the crushing blows

of the new pharaohs of avarice

and their lives in libation

to the eternal flame

in the pantheon of wall street

and its demi-gods

and their drooling generals and viceroys

for the privilege to eke out an existence 

to be used until useful no more.

 

Meet the new untouchables--

indispensable yet despised

desired yet ostracized

lusted for yet demonized

the hijackers of the American dream

my Mother, Father, and Brother

disposable pieces of equipment

to you

to me, my Beloved.