October 22, 2008

tearing at the border

lock and block the entrance
for the greater walls lie only miles away
not in China

lock, block and patrol
and then taste this guacamole
is good, isn't it?

madre, hay un policía en la puerta*

no sir, we haven't seen anyone with that name before
you know how young men are all stationed in Iraq
maybe la migra** is the real migraine

a fifty nation army of the poor and the outcasts
a fifty nation army locking the door for good
a fifty nation army tearing at the seams

vamos ya†, roll your taco and finish it

I spent time in the desert
I still remember my sweet sixteen
life has not changed much

my grandfather was drunk and then he killed himself
and we mourned for a year
dressed in black, locked and blocked

we are no mojados†† eating Doritos
we dwell in borders, the mere transitions
overflown by the transactions

the greater walls are not built
they grow within
and you try tearing them down

lock, block and patrol
and then taste the enchiladas
is good, isn't it?

silvia arroyo (El Paso, TX, 1972)

Editor's notes:

* "Mother, there is a cop at the door"
** Slang for "federal immigration authorities"
† "Come on"
†† Offensive term for a Mexican laborer who enters the U.S. illegally, wetback


The Mad Celt said...

Fabuloso, magnifico, Senora Arroyo.

Anonymous said...

I have translated to Russian in a poetic form.
is there anybody here interested in reading ?

fr.Russia with love