The difference between sun bathing and bathing without water is subtle. A few degrees of separation
when it’s a hundred and four. You’re a hundred and four and the National Weather Service won’t turn
the community center into shelter.
Until it’s 105
Like home and homeless, subtle as the six degree separation in the air-conditioned window of a Heat
Advisory. We’ve been here all along. Standing outside for a very long time. People of scorched earth and
We do not tan, we burn.
Skin toned. Palette of hues the gradient colors of a dancing flame. The only rainbow we’re allowed.
Without water, just sun.
In the absence of white sand, called children of the dirt. Star-front property by night. Gaze into a sea of
Mountain from lawn chairs perched in grassless yards by day.
This pyramid a mesa makes
This city elevates us. Serves us like a shoulder and white linen to bronzed sun gods far from shorelines
This is our Gladiatorial Sacrifice
Where we enjoy salt and see. People of prayers and pilgrimages where water, itself, is a miracle.
However, much more often, here … many a’miracle walk on without it.
800 miles from Long Beach, 1400 miles from Tenochitlan.
Baptized by both.
Blessed to be here.
Hakim Bellamy is a two-time National Champion in the Poetry Slam scene. He has won the City Grand Slam Championship in Albuquerque (2005) and in Silver City (2008) as well as 3 consecutive University of New Mexico LOBOSLAM titles. He is Albuquerque’s first poet laureate.