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'Notes from the library' by poet Hector Son Of Hector

Poet Hector Son Of Hector reads his poem "Notes from the library."

Notes from the library

So graft this cactus pad onto my forehead

for I was not born with it.

I’m the wrong kind of Mexican.

Indoctrinated early with American folklore

gunpowder remnants rest on my fingertips.

That smoky smell is forever in my hair.

When pyramids are built above pyramids

parallel lines show the old support the new

but when a cathedral’s foundation is that

of a razed pyramid

I have to scrape the earth for allusions

dig through library books with foreign lenses

read what the neighbors wrote

live with unanswered questions

dirty fingernails

and anthropological conclusions.

The wall that separates me from then

is the wall I have to look over:

mirages on the horizon

distorted reflections

like a garage-sale textbook

with wet, broken,

and missing pages.

Born north of the border

I am still less Mexican

than the light skinned son of Bulgarians

who fled warfare

and grew up on the corner

of my father’s city,

my mother’s pueblo.

Cut off from indigenous knowledge

full of scars that always itch

I am the symptom of a failed revolution

and I've had to keep laboring for this:

thorns from nopales and pelos de elote stitch

Mestizo across my forehead.