It is not my story to tell:
Languishing dreams in the midst of barbed wire fences,
We add lemon, chile powder and salt to this border.
They carry these stories,
Heavy as a sack filled with indignities,
Weighty, like your grandmother’s advice,
Cumbersome, like this daily mental displacement.
I have not bought big things as of lately,
In my mind I plan my exits,
I constantly check my relocation fund,
“What if” is a constant in my lexicon.
I often break in tears at the sound of an immigrant story,
My emotions become gallons of water:
broken and splashed by the boots of immigration officers,
Little do they know, we are cacti:
Tough and our seeds also flourish post mortem.
I want to sing an immigrant song:
Less like butterflies who migrate,
But more like dislocated nations,
Collateral flesh, caught up in steel thorns.
Rest assured we will survive,
Like leaves of siempreviva,
Even after torn away from our stem,
We will grow our own roots:
Defiant, resilient, and with a stubborn willingness to belong.
We are you.