"Juchereau Oxosse SaintDenis / Maria Oxum Sánchez" by Phil SaintDenisSanchez

for my ancestors and orixás


because you came to me while i was standing on a hill overlooking the favela
Cidade Nova
           new city in the capital of the world: Salvador, Bahia (forte Brasil)
                      and made time reveal itself as the greatest joke of all
                                        i laughed at myself for pretending to be in it
because you came to me as a snake and filled my veins with love and then
 dropped sweet
             water through the IV while i waited for the winner of the race between the helicopter and the speed boat
            you initiated me in the ICU of Bangkok Hospital-Koh Samui branch in the midst of paralysis Maria pumped my heart, while Juchereau pumped my liver
                                                     for your beauty, i was breathed
i was breathed because you came to me in the Panamanian jungle
 rusted barbwire in my foot
           we watched drunken group bullfighting in the waiting room
                       debating the worst of
                       the sins: the sport or the nurse’s choice of tv programming
                                    some people claim to have had imaginary friends
                                              i have no idea what that would be like
because poems defeat time, but it’s already dead
 because you must be beautiful while you hunt otherwise why would you bother
because you told the pai-de-santo i was a worthy initiate and showed him
             my ancestors practicing as he does
because we always come together
 despite my fear
my lifelong fear that only became clear upon seeing the request in your faces
                                             i let you in my body
                                             i let you in    

Phil SaintDenisSanchez is originally from New Orleans and much of his ancestry is Louisiana Creole. His work has appeared in Voicemail Poems, Alien Mouth Journal, and Sonic Boom Journal. It is forthcoming in Reality Beach and on Shabda Press. He studied music theory and composition at The City College of New York. In addition to writing poetry, he practices Muay Thai and produces and composes music that blends electronic forms, soul, turn-of-the-century classical, the samba rhythms he studied in Bahia, and the brass and marching band traditions of his hometown. He records under the name SaintDenisSanchez and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on May 9, 2016 .