Craig Santos Perez


Our Lady of Non-Perishable Love

We would’ve starved without you, Our Lady
of Rations. You arrived to our war torn island

and saved us from hunger. We built altars to you
in our pantries. Today, we’re your largest congregation,

Our Lady of Miracle Meats. We pay tribute
each year at the Spam Jam in Waikiki, a feast day

where devotees transfigure you into haute cuisine
and ice cream. I dream of pilgrimage to your sacred

birthplace, now museum, in Austin, Minnesota.
I’ll kneel at your factory’s squealing walls,

where 20,000 pigs are sacrificed to you, daily,
Our Lady of Slaughter. Forgive me, I’ve been on a diet

after my doctor warned me: false idol, devil
in a blue and yellow dress. Since I’ve left your cargo

cult, I miss your dirty secrets, your gelatinous
communion. But deep down in my belly,

I know you’ll always be here for us
in our hour of emergency.


Ars Poetica

When the tide
of silence

rises, say:

then, with
the paddle of

your tongue,

the letters
to form


Disarming a Nation

can we be safe
anywhere, if

our military commits
mass shootings

everywhere else?
can we control

guns at home,
if our government

sells them abroad?

can we end
our toxic culture

of violence,
if our country wages

endless wars
of terror?

can we disarm
a nation,

if we don’t demilitarize
our imagination?


i wish
i was the dream
of ancestors

and not
the anarchy
of descent

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