when open doors must close

[SHE OPENS THE DOORS AS PER USUAL, LETTING IN ORANGE SUNLIGHT AND A SOFT BREEZE UNTAMED BY THE HEAT.  A SMALL DRYING LEAF FLIES INTO THE STEPS, LANDS IN THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE’S ENTRANCE. SHE KICKS IT BACK OUT.]

 

(There are no seasons, no time of day, but the motherland is bright with sun and just tolerably hot, and so the house is.)

 

 

go back home

 

go back home

back to where you came from! illegals! why don’t you hop back across the border fucking wetbacks

good for nothing dogs taking our jobs

i bet you can’t even understand me, goddamn idiots, grab your ladders and—

 

[DOORS ARE SHUT CLOSE WITH A SWIFT CLICK BY HER HAND.]

 

my home is made of patria and nopal servido con carne

rough ceramic holding plants of color green white and red

this place that holds my body

from where i got this tangled brown hair and dark dark irises

no one can find words for other than chocolate

chocolate which also came to be under the scorching god of the aztecs

i hate it and i love it. i wish i could get out but leave the doors open for when i return

and for the cool air to come in and mingle with the heat of the kitchen

an oven that is never turned off plump with masa and vegetables

 

then the terrors came

 

grabbing my people by the shirts and kicking them to the mud

out of our own land

banging incessantly on my door breaking down the wood

it snapped so loudly meztli had to cover her ears

tláloc jumped back and knocked down a vase

and at the shatter of the glass

i knew my home had to be made portable

 

so i made a small one out of napkin and pen

of crayons and book

pencil and journal

not too heavy to drag my dress down stretching the seams at the side of my thigh

i open its flappy doors to sit and pull the lines out of my mouth, nostrils, teeth, and core

sitting on handmade pillow rearranging the lines to make words

and i can go inside whenever i wish

pouring rain, burning hot

even while talking to my mother

they dance under my skin right on my face

especially when the people facing me have matches between their lips

lining them up to spit inside my mouth

combustion

destruction

same ones who pull my brother by the hair pushing him over the border

cheering at his fall

 

the lines i rearrange inside my house are sometimes the only ladder i can build to help my people back up

one step after one step after one step

 

you’re all oblivious

i’m not even here

 

and during the dark days

when i must carry it in my jaw

my home is made of

strings of color like the scarves knick by the old woman who lives in a medical cabinet

when the ‘wetback’ chants get too loud

when there’s not even ink and paper in the house

the house built by my own fingers my own nails my own evenings half naked in a towel

laying on the floor

fat beads falling down my neck because

the words

the words

they come so fast they left me no time so fast they beat the water of the shower

so fast i lay on my stomach tracing the phrases with my finger on the carpet of my room

too fast never enough time

to reach for black and white

color to immortalize it

 

sometimes i hear them cry

the ones i let fly away like paper cranes attached to balloons

because they recognize their death

 

and there are days when the stone won’t hold

wooden doors rattle and window glass shatters

when my hogar is built of

birth certificates and blood

days when i let myself fall in the arms of my family

always telling me to plant my feet into the earth

because

i am home

estoy en casa

i am home

estoy en casa

This poem is about: 
Me
My country
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

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