I have the opportunity to stir a reaction.
Being in the middle has no ideal benefits, instead
too many distractions.
A veces sí y en las otras no.2
There is a constant struggle of where my ground cements.
My very own light brothers and sisters are attempting to make me fall off the border,
a place where the sun extensively fries my skin.
Un salto más en mi juventud,3
scorpion rocks puncture my face
leaving unforgettable scars that will certainly affect my fate.
Upon glancing at closed barriers where the past conoce al presente,4
your ineloquent schemes with dull borders
obligates The Brown Wave to breed murals with harmonic and fantastical designs
creating a vague perception from all the prickly nails with nametags,
hanging from each end of the sky.
Standing I see, a Hole-in-the-Wall–5
a creative tunnel that exported arms faster than furious.
Secrets like these cannot be kept.
What is being exported into my home… Is this the
American Dream for which I had wept?
Scandalous bigotry I juxtapose with having the life I once thought I needed.
Beaten and stargazing, me tienen contemplando mis consecuencias,6
but when you are aliens with an unwanted casa,7
settling is the least we can do, but I promise—
we will not be leaving soon.
This leaves us with no choice,
hopping borders constructed by hexagon scales,8
with the sound of a jolly timbre to notify the owner if someone broke in,
pero this time, our implicitness fell through the glass.
Alone I felt
Mis sentimientos se hicieron en una bola de acero,9
waiting to be trampled on.
At times, left alone to burn…
Desertness can be grueling, there is no one to cry to,
not even a fire.
There is a man, however,
wearing his green suit and aviators on,
pretending to be my savior while kicking me out of his country
with his oily brown boots.
Meanwhile my ideology expanded greater than the wings of a phoenix.
I grew louder and louder,
haciendo El Grito en el medio de nada;10
there arose a new voice from the
perhaps this time, me la rajo.12
I carried my mother and father’s burden to succeed in an area, a barrio
where one did not have the chance.
Afar from all the cochinero,13 there was
Un elote con raíces indígenas,14 proclaiming:
“MEX(CHIC)ANISMO Es Grande!
The Pride will Flourish into Sweet Corn Fields of Luscious Desires!”
Brothers and sisters,
levanten sus cabezas y no sean mensos y mensas!15
Este mundo nuestro16 has to be carried on,
sometimes even tattooed to leave our tracks once we make love to the ripe sand.
There seems to be a ruckus amongst my own.
A divider has been well spent:
no one of my descendance17
cannot cross this bridge nor wall.
Before we know it, this can be the end of it all.
Trapped with the burdens of politics,
declaring a war on us, not gangs.
Spitefulness smothers the man-constructed borders.
Constant miscommunication led to turf wars;
an explicit amount of red tape surrounding my fallen kindred spirits created abandonment.
Rallies that hosted the neighborhood watchcrew,
their high-waist Dickies centered above their belly button,
painted a familiar territory I once explored.
A firm “¡Orale!” oozed throughout the speakers of mis carnales18 once we had the respect all of us craved.
They always thought I was one of their own,
but they never were in-between, unlike myself.
Triste pensamientos me dejaron sin orgullo,19 but I cannot escape who I am.
Es todo o nada,20 it was time;
one was wearing a baseball tee,
an unfamiliar color for a Latino-based team.
“Square up hermano,21 it is time for you to be jumped in.”
Pues, eso pienso? Me quedo en duda,23 Hopefully so,
because my time is no longer than the Virgin Maria’s.
I finally succeeded;
my shades covered all the bruises around the worn sockets,
covering my eyes, for a dream we all kids have from a barrio.
This dream of ours will vanish before we blink.
There he was, the civil bystander, obstructing my attempts from pouncing over the border
to visit my native roots!
I will not fall victim to your genocide.
There is no way I am supposed to turn into a rotten, pitiful fruit.
Nos saludamos25 for a paper that determined my fate.
Con Safos26 echoed throughout the park.
No me lo puedo creer,27 my very own sold me out.
Todavía estás con nosotros,28 he smirked,
in the middle.
2sometimes yes and sometimes no/ sometimes yes and at other times no
3A youthful leap ahead
4knows the present
5an operation in which US government sent guns to Mexico through Juarez
6they have me contemplating my consequences
8the “hexagon scales” of the chain-link fence of the border
9my feelings turned into a ball of steel
10doing “The Scream” in the middle of nowhere
12I’ll go through with it
14a corn with indigenous roots
15raise your head and do not be fools
16this world of ours
17“descendants” – typographical error retained to show difficulty many non-native speakers experience in learning English, and to more closely replicate the accent of the author
18my homeboys/ my homies
19depressing thoughts have left me without pride
20it’s all or nothing
22well that is what I think? I leave myself in doubt
23is this right for me? Would I finally be the first to come out of these horrible dreams?
24I DO NOT CARE!
27I cannot believe it
28you are still with us
Artist: Patrick Quirk has been interested in photography since he was a freshman in high school and began taking photo classes there. It was his teacher Maggie Crail who mentored him and really got him to want to do photo as a career. He is now finishing up the professional photography certificate at Fullerton College with Professor Melody La Montia. He enjoys studio and sport photography the most because it can be challenging but rewarding.