I pray to my ancestors,
I plead to them,
I confide in them.

I invoke them every night as I depart before I dream
so that the poisonous arrow heading towards me,
from the gaze of oppressors,
does not pierce me.

I summon them and they wrap me between their sheets of water.
They save me from the nightmare of the genocidal abuser,
who with his white hand threatens to erase from me all traces of blackness,
all elements of difference,
all signs of resistance,
all rights of freedom.

They open their doors of fire
and convert me to air so that I do not burn.
They protect me in their memory
so that death does not reach me and fear does not stop me;
so that deprivation does not reach my door
nor the door of my brothers and sisters;
so that their words are an eternal armor of infinite light of my days,
and the violence that is wielded against me and mine
does not exterminate us.

They, who are everywhere, who speak to me in all languages
in their thunderous voices proclaim:

"Ana Luisa,
Let the sea write your name in the sand
and may your face be the moon for the fisherman.
Let your body be reflected in the mirror
and that your figure become a multiple portrait of you.
Let your voice become waves, stones, lightning, weapons, screams, and echoes
for when you fall into the traps of the white hunter,
protest and form revolts and rebellions that destabilize their serenity and their power;
so he knows that you will not hold your tongue,
that you do not shrink,
that he cannot erase you from the story,
because we are with you."

© 2018 Ana Luisa Muñoz Ortiz