Touching land with toes is like
returning to a home you never left.
It is like returning to a home you never
left because the leave taking was one of
necessity. You were priced out of your
neighborhood. The newcomers feel that
it belongs to them. That it was always
theirs for the taking, was just waiting
for their arrival. Columbus and
his crew took land from the natives as if
it was always theirs for the taking, was just
waiting for their arrival. They plant flags,
cast spells with a new language, and decimate
with diseases. The land was always theirs for
the taking, they believed. And they did take.
Gold to Europe. Tobacco. Cotton. Sugar. Bodies.
The land has a way of remembering. Humans easily
forget. They call Columbus a hero, build statues
of him, when in reality he was taken back to
Spain after his third voyage bound in chains—
appropriate uniform for a criminal. Murderer.
But who is listening? Who is reading history?
© 2019, Elvis Alves