Water No Get Enemy from Issue 96
for Berta Cáceres
Born March 4, 1971 La Esperanza, Honduras
Assassinated March 3, 2016 La Esperanza, Honduras
I swam the field.
Her body everywhere—blue cornflowers.
A dam of rocks:
clattering mercy at her feet, seashells
of bullets collected from her hair. I sing
the body hydroelectric, if you wan to
go wash, na water you go use, blue and
damned, standing at the bank of the
Gualcarque River, telling it to keep
her name out its mouth.
The men came in the night:
the coffin of a constellation
on their shoulders. Sky full of five
pronged nails—dull and glimmering
at the same time. Trigger fingers
groping tendrils of threat, unruly eyes
mirroring back dark hands soiled with
terror, riddled with history’s teeth,
yellowing thumbnails smudging memory.
The men own even the rain:
even the wet body, found with head full
of black curls rippling like waves. No need
to roll the stone away, these women
don’t rise on the third day, blinking in
the moonlight, wrapped in invisible
wire like something beautiful’s
I sing the body hydroelectric:
if water kill your child, na water you go use.
Her flightless voice written on the sound
of water running, the sound of gunshots
pattering feet upstream. The blood
the last thing to come rushing, begging
to be taken back home. Flag hung.
The ribbon cut. Her lips aboard a ship
the sky rocking her broken hips to sleep.
The shore—hard and unforgiving.
The field lies down before us.
The morning sun—a mistaken flame.