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Jeremy Rascon Sep 24
My mom taught me to clean the beans
            seemingly hundreds all on the counter,
            a delicious rain
               as they fall.
Find the "Bad" ones
                              the rocks,
                              the ****,
I am power,
       I decide,
           just for awhile.
Cleaning beans meant
                   my mom would make
                                   my favorites
   stuffed sopapillas,
                      tostadas,
the timeless and classic bean and cheese burrito.
The beans take all **** day to cook...
                                      they taught me
                                                    Patience.
Slam dunk crash
Loud sound, a thunder dome
Intense clapping; it's time
Michael Jordan, save us.

Janus, my ****
In my pants oopsies
Micheal Jordan, slams and dunks.
It is not my story to tell:
Languishing dreams in the midst of barbed wire fences,
Fearless laughter,
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.
Your fragile fears are endearing
As they determine you are human.
Your shivering skin is in
Because it shows you are chilled to the bone.
Your voice’s timbre does not have a noise
For it is the sound of your subconscious.
Your hand’s shakes are their own brand
Of starlight, cells, and sweat.
It’s okay
To think
Beyond
What seems possible
The intangible
Keeps us
Moving
I fix my tea before I dream
The herbs swirl in my subconscious
A ritual warm and full of steam
I wake knowing, “I want this.”
I read someone else’s words before I sleep
Losing myself to a story
A healthy escape that I’ll keep up
To bide off darkness and worry.
I wash my face before I slumber
Washing away the day
Tomorrow any anxiety I may encumber
Must in the future stay.
I pen my thoughts to the night’s sound
Striking the ink to the rhythm of my thoughts
Meanwhile fear and curiosity abound
I must momentarily quell my haves and have nots.
Dismantle your convictions
Break them beyond recognition
Into the smallest parts imaginable
For those fragments of atoms
Build us up.
Old clothes hang on my bones that
Feel more mine than ever
Shedding dead weight so I
Won’t be late for my cue to
Walk through the door of opportunity
Excuse me as I strip my skin
Revealing what lies within
Patience is not wearing thin: my
Body is shrinking but my soul is
Expanding past the confines of the
Physical frame I occupy in the meantime.
The trails of burning Palo Santo cleanse me
Of all that I no longer need
But my soul’s light reflects off the smoke
Cobwebs of curiosity create clouds
Through which I cannot see
—My ancestors remind me to rely not on sight, but feeling
From under the magnolia’s dark green leaves,
I saw Her. For the first time I recognized a face
Of someone who wasn’t familiar; I was
Comforted by a stranger. She showed me
A vision that would one day become mine.
I was 5; She was ageless.
We danced and told secrets and
I walked along her roots
Until the street lights came on.
Then I’d be gone, only to return to her
Branches’ embrace, coming to know her divine face
Day after day. Like it was my own. She told me that I
Was a warrior; She told me that I
Would never be alone; that my own roots would always
Guide me home; that my mind contained
Knowledge that I didn’t yet know; that through me
Healing love and creation could flow, in and out.
I didn’t know what it meant, but I knew She meant well.
I didn’t see her for many years. Until:
After 17 rotations of the sun, after thinking
All I was was said and done, She returned to me
In a dream. I was
Down and out, seeping self-doubt.
I looked upon Her face but saw my own:
She said to me
     “Come in through the leaves. Sit at my roots.
      Look at me: look at my blooming flowers that will soon wither;
      Look at my deep, entangling roots, that have held on for many storms;
      Look at my leaves, evergreen, but always growing.
      I am proof things remain but there is no way that
      You will stay the same. You will yield to change.
      To feel joy amid all the strange
      Is a feeling you cannot feign,
      A feeling foreign to your brain
      There is no way it will sustain. But, find peace
      Knowing that your soul’s moonlight won’t cease
      As the same light was never extinguished in
      All those who came before you:
      Your magic is ancient. Your roots are deeper than
      Any pain you may be feeling now. You carry within you
      A potent medicine, passed down to your in your life’s blood,
      From mothers, midwives, magicians, mighty warriors
      Who bore you, who birthed the essence of who you are,
      And are becoming yet.
      Like you, I, too, was once a sapling, just beginning to feel
      Our great mother’s earth, not yet knowing what it could offer.
      She ensured my growth was not stunted; that I was not lost in the forest.
      For every snap of a branch, there have been ten more that grew;
      For every season I went without, my blooms doubled the next.
      It is not in your mind’s eye now, but it will be:
      The day when you come to know Her as you know me,
      The day you fuse your old and current selves, to meet
      Who you will become:
      The past, present, and future selves as one
      Fluid transition to your newfound position
      Giving recognition to all parts: those without and within
      To strive, to seek, to dream
      May you never lose steam
      To achieve, to fight for what you believe
      To pursue all things with hope, all things
      With love, in service to below and above.
      Illuminating dark spaces, to seek familiar faces
      In unlikely places and cherish the embraces
      That you may never feel again.”
And She is gone. The coolness of the air, not Her branches,
Wraps around my shoulders
Much of what surrounds me serves only as a placeholder
For the connection that yields direction.
The signs and prayers could all just be deception
But is believing in something not better than despair?
It’s a game of Lotería, but it keeps matters fair
But magic and all is coming, with no shortage in sight
And I can change the course of fate if I will it.
Still, for now, the Fool’s fortune is greater than my own
What power can I possible conjure when I’m all alone?
I am left with only my intuition and sheer volition
That’s wearing thin, but I’ll search for more within
Even if nothing is revealed, even to examine my scope of field
It may yet yield all which is past and now healed.
I remember the pact we made when I was five,
But, oh, how much harder it is now to keep hope alive.
I’ll continue to dream
even when I’ve lost all steam,
even when the light narrows to a single beam.
I’ll continue to hope
even when the Universe says nope,
even when I’m seeing only a limited scope.
I’ll continue to pray
even if I don’t know if I’ll see another day,
even when the response is after much delay.
I’ll continue to dance
even if I’m not granted a deserved chance,
even if my moment’s magic fails to entrance.
I’ll continue to create
even if I share my art too late,
even if my efforts are met with hate.
Magnolia’s gaze reminds me of my earth’s view
This vantage point above it all
But keeping close to those I’ll care for
Nurturing with compassion and intuition,
Healing by soft light,
Providing others with gentle protection,
Remembering my ancestors’ loving lesson
Of rooting, and growing, from deeper within.
This poem was guided by my Mexican ancestors and by the magnolia-scented memories of my childhood. Root in make room for growth.
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