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Coatlicue’s Legacy

August 7, 2008

Coatlicue by Hector Arrache

(Para las dicipulas)

I am Coatlicue’s daughter
and reigning princess
but sometimes I forget.
Sometimes someone puts a hand up
that falls hard against my face
and I forget
that within me
is the word and
tomorrow he’d be dead.
No doctor would have helped.
His mortal mother, beside herself.

Sometimes I forget
all I need to do is say it
think it
breathe it
dream it
and life is at the hem of my stone skirt,
a drifting feather
four hundred warriors strong.
It waits for me to spread my legs
wide as a wild-eyed spider
heaven to hell
God’s soul through me
the sun down to China
Earth’s axis round
like a spinning top.

And life is in my hands,
suckling at my breast,
thrives on the rhythm of my beating heart,
warmth of my throbbing belly.
Bite that cord or not
spit out the skeletons of bad boys
or shit them out–
who did not learn to honor
but fear Her just the same.

Sometimes I forget
when I’ve been robbed and raped
to numbness
that mine is a terrible wrath.
And that blood begins
and stops between my legs.

–1997, Chicago

Ana Castillo

*Coatlicue: Principal Aztec deity, the formidable goddess of fertility and destruction

This poem is from Castillo’s poetry collection I Ask the Impossible

One Comment leave one →
  1. hector arrache permalink
    April 30, 2010 2:45 pm

    Coatlicue is a goddes that give life and take it away it is duality. Had two childen the Sun and the Moon. Had another Huitzilopoztli the brothers thought she had been fooling around and then they try to kill him, but he killed the brotherS.

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