Poetry

Escaping The Past

Chicano poetry
There are a hundred avenues to escape the future, but not a single road to escape the past.

Pills
Bridges
Nooses
Guns
There are a hundred avenues
To escape the future
But not a single road to escape the past

Yet sometimes I still mourn the past
The sting
Of ink seeping into the bone
Careening through the bloodstream
Cleaving, widowing vacant pores

Feel the sunlight splashing down
Burning
Enlightening our shaven heads
Refracting authority
Signaling, taunting rival carnales

Hear Richie Valens through the static
Serenading
Strumming lost odes
Consoling spirits
Healing, blessing open wounds

Smell the fuming, smoldering hash
Ribboning
Through slits in the forest tops
Elevating and bolstering dreams
Magnifying fears, reinforcing doubts

Taste the flank red meat
Searing
Charred like our history, our heritage
Shrouding blood and resolve
Masking the muscle within

See the names and numbers scrawled
Across walls and fences
Enclosing like prison yards
Reminding locals, warning outsiders
Stay away

There are a hundred avenues
To escape the future
But not a single road to escape the past

Brandon Loran Maxwell

Brandon Loran Maxwell is a writer, speaker, prize winning essayist, and founder of DailyChela.com. He is also the host of The Lowrider Samurai Podcast. His writings and commentary have appeared at The Hill, Salon, Townhall, The Washington Examiner, The Oregonian, FEE, and Latino Rebels Radio, among others. He often writes about prison reform, immigration reform, pop culture, music, and Chicano culture. He resides on the West Coast.

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