A DIALOGUE ON MIRACLES
I saw your image stitched and stuffed as a well-/worn pincushion with the legend “There/is a place in my heart for you”. ---From “Milagrito: Eye of the Raven,” by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa, 07-25-11
Was that a heart left askew at the wayside chapel
of the Albuquerque abbey? Was it an offering
yanked out of a purloined body, a lover’s sacrifice?
Would you do that for me, amor mio, would you?
What looked like a heart: yes, moulded in silver
melted from old pesetas and Yanqui moneda, an
unlikely blending of borders here where human
traffic routinely includes migrant decapitation.
Mira, mira: los dedos de plata, los ojos de oro!*
But why is that other heart carved from wood?
And that shrunken head made of brittle wax?
The maze of lines on its forehead are angry cracks.
Las hechuras de milagritos, these miracle forms,
they, too, have class distinctions: silver and gold
for the rich, wood and wax for the struggling.
Who and what would the gods hearken to? Sabes?
Then pray, amor mio, that surprises met here
with largesse are not the same as those in heaven.
---Albert B. Casuga
Amor mio – my love; pesetas, moneda – money; Sabes? – Do you know?
*Look, look: the fingers are made of silver, the eyes of gold.