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Stop Hitting Abreu

José Abreu contemplates his journey.
| Ron Vesely/Getty Images

Stop Hitting Abreu

Thirty thousand faces, wordless
in unison. Time slows
and stops. The rough path leading here.

Remember the taste of paper, ink stained
tongue. Silent in an airplane bathroom,
stomach full of forged documents and fear.

A traitor to heart and home. Crosses
bad weather. Far from the sun,
the sky opens and weeps.

Freedom smells like burnt sugarcane.

Born in the belly of a crocodile. The Southern Pearl,
shining brightest of a hundred fires. Mother gave
seventy-nine not to be forgotten. Martín,
The Immortal stays with us.

Stagger up, pain defected to ribs. Bruised
songs of hope. A new life
born in the crowd’s deafening roars.

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