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.