Welcome 2016: This is the Year

12402199_10154523918764199_1346114026762749160_oImagine the Angels of BreadThis is the year that squatters evict landlords,gazing like admirals from the railof the roofdeckor levitating hands in praiseof steam in the shower;this is the yearthat shawled refugees deport judgeswho stare at the floorand their swollen feetas files are stampedwith their destination;this is the year that police revolvers,stove-hot, blister the fingersof raging cops,and nightsticks splinterin their palms;this is the year that darkskinned menlynched a century agoreturn to sip coffee quietlywith the apologizing descendantsof their executioners.This is the year that thosewho swim the border's undertowand shiver in boxcarsare greeted with trumpets and drumsat the first railroad crossingon the other side;this is the year that the handspulling tomatoes from the vineuproot the deed to the earth that sproutsthe vine,the hands canning tomatoesare named in the willthat owns the bedlam of the cannery;this is the year that the eyes stinging from the poison that purifies toiletsawaken at last to the sightof a rooster-loud hillside,pilgrimage of immigrant birth; this is the year that cockroachesbecome extinct, that no doctorfinds a roach embeddedin the ear of an infant;this is the year that the food stampsof adolescent mothersare auctioned like gold doubloons,and no coin is given to buy machetesfor the next bouquet of severed headsin coffee plantation country.If the abolition of slave-manaclesbegan as a vision of hands without manacles,then this is the year;if the shutdown of extermination campsbegan as imagination of a landwithout barbed wire or the crematorum,then this is the year;if every rebellion begins with the ideathat conquerors on horsebackare not many-legged gods, that they too drownif plunged in the river,then this is the year.So may every humiliated mouth,teeth like desecrated headstones,fill with the angels of bread.— Martín Espada