The Virgin is Morenita
and she bathes in an emerald
silhouette. To pay homage,
my mother wrapped my hair
in green, white and red ribbon.
Mija, eres Mexicana con tus ojos
negros como nuestra Morenita.
In religious reenactments, the stage-
lit altar flooded the dark church.
My eyes hypnotized by the dotted stars
On her cloak. I thought I met the Virgin,
When her gaze met the audience with bright,
glossy eyes like a doe in mourning.
Her appearance revealed a small, slender–
Pubescent thirteen-year-old girl.
The one I played violin next to on
Sundays. Turned out the young girl’s
mother forced her to participate.
On December 12, millions worship a stranger.
The real Virgin, a Goddess.
I’d like to ask her who she was before.
Before her real worshipers died.
Before her skin was made to lure.
Before they took her name.
What a pretty project for a conquest.
Devotion in reenactments aren’t enough
To front manipulation for adoration.
Purity is undisputed to peregrinos.
Passed down to me.
Pervasive to all.
Header image by Samarah Nasir