Rio Grande Dreams

In my dreams, I can still hear my hearbeat

By Isaias Cantu
Published on LatinoLA: October 1, 2003

Rio Grande Dreams

I still dream of the Rio Grande, of mesquite- and nopal-framed sunsets and horizons. I dream of the never-ending sky that has looked over me every night of my life. I dream of the thunder that rolls and sways amongst its stars and constellations.

I dream of my Rio Grande.

I still dream of cactus needles in my thighs as I run through your Valley. I still sweat tears in the moonlight as alacranes and culebras rear and strike at dust and shadows. I still dream of the fields you nourished and the bodies you swept away. I still dream of este y el otro lado and the silent dichotomies that were conceived deep within your womb.

I still dream of the drowned tone of a solitary bell clanging beneath your waves. I still hear its wails calling me home again and again, each time more desolate, each time more desperate. I still dream of the whirlpools that give birth to voices and llantos long since hushed in your arms. I still see their memories float to the surface as I trace handprints along your banks.

I still dream of relampagos burning footprints through ca?a and algodon as my shadows sneak up beside me. I still dream of their hunger growing around me as I surround myself with your jacales.

I still hear the coyote running beside me; sometimes alone, sometimes in pairs, and sometimes in packs. I still feel pray to La Llorona as I push deeper into their fear.

I still dream of the tecolote beating her wings over my head as I pull three inch inch espinas out of the sole of my shoe. I still feel the tips of their fingers in my skin. I still feel their leaves and flowers growing in me. I still use an old navaja to cut my skin and pull them out.

In my dreams, I can still make out the tacuaches run off in the distance as my footsteps blow up dust and dirt. In my dreams, I can still hear my hearbeat as I keep running. I still remember the paths that used to run between and houses and behind shacks in that old barrio. I still run between the same solares and callejones.

In my dream, it hasn?t changed. In my dreams, I?m still running away from my hopes and dreams.

In my dream, I still only see the light of the moon and dark of night to guide me. In my dreams, I?m still running away from my Rio Grande.

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