Barbary Dove by Sergio Ortiz

I don't need to visit Africa,
climb Kilimanjaro,
or bathe in the Limpopo River.
On Fridays
she is in my ankles,
travels to the knees whenever I stand
in front of a Barbary Dove.
Saturday nights,
boogaloos her way to my waist.
By mid Sunday
she jabs a shoulder.
she gazelles to an elbow
and later creeps down to the wrist.
On Tuesdays,
I hop on one foot,
then another.
my arm rises and Africa
is inside my fist.

But at midnight,
when Wednesday
turns into Thursday
she steals into my heart and beats
like rada drums
in the ceremonies of the vodoun.

2008 - Ortiz

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