The golden root of the Chibchas
reached me in New York City on a hot afternoon
like a message from the native Indians of Colombia
of how to expose
the secret torments of our lives
on pine stakes.

Arracacha is a root that looks
like a spearhead on my plate.
I eat it boiled
as a necessary sweet spike
following the withdrawal of needles from my body.

Needles all over my body every afternoon --
I need them more and more
to cope with the inner heartache.
Needles inserted into the crown of my head,
pricking my brow and all the way
along the middle of my chest
and belly,
my arms and hands,
my legs and ankles,
my soles and my toes.

Life becomes easier after the shock of piercing --
I can breathe for a few hours,
released from the agony of solitude.
I can go ahead in time.
As my tears soak the pillow
they drip to the floor and so
trickle down into the soil,
feeding the Colombian golden arracacha.


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