DACA poem (Rough Draft)

I wrote this after reading an article and marinating on AWP 2017 and I am using a Spanish translation tool (which makes me a tool) so that the ghost speaker would breathe their two languages, because many bi-linguals do switch, as plenty of you know...

DACA: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

      Despite Rick Santorum (and, of course, Agent Orange)


Say your parent are slitting each other's throat

to chants of protection from men with guns.

you are eight, nine, old enough now

to walk weary of candy-fisted strangers,

to know the neighbors are not yours

but they are safer than here.

Do you slip out of the second story

window, risk skidding to death

when the clay tile breaks, and it breaks

always, already before you can think?

You are not old enough to understand

the weight of the cons. You just want out

of this mass grave so you skid and brace.

You tumble into the reeds, into desert

saguaro. You say hola to the frilled

lizard. You don't knock the doors

you come to. You run through them

panting, fatigued, afraid your parents

have died at the hands of their own

nation, even if their ghost held your hand

and said: Hablar con esa mujer blanca,

I can tell that one will listen. Su hijo

just run off to war, and she cannot fathom

sobrevivirá. She will pray for him

and you will be the start of her answer.

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