where i’m from
i’m from the blisters and the
calluses on the immigrants’ feet;
the long-life dream of a life
where dreams and aspirations
i’m from a family whose origin
is within the graffiti stained walls
of the murder capital of the world
i’m from the hot sun and the lush
green trees –
where my dreams and adventures
are found within every leaf
i’m the skin color of the Pipil
and the tongue of the Spanish
i’m the black and white
on my great-grandmother’s wall
some faces known,
the hums of my ancestors,
the lost dialects
the never-ending passion
for the never-ending struggle
i am from those families who have seen war
blood and rifles in the hands of children –
children with no future and no hopes except
maybe one in the United States,
where individuals lose their identity
and sense of belonging
when standing before the white man.
those who crossed borders and borders and borders
with nothing but a dream to improve their own lives
and the lives of their children,
marking the ground they walk on with dignity
as their past life in their home country
decimates to dust,
as they enter a world of long days
under the burning sun
drenched in sweat from the vegetables fields
inhaling toxic chemicals one breath at a time
in order to feed their families;
the tired hands sweeping and cleaning and
i’m from those individuals
who have given up everything for their families,
who only want their children to make those dreams that
were so far away in the homeland
into a reality.
i’m from la gente that
carry the beauty and grace of their
as the word home becomes foreign and far away,
as the struggle to decipher words and sounds of a
new language increases with difficulty,
as if looking at alphabet soup.
i’m the heartbeat of mothers and fathers
willing to walk through deserts
to provide their families with survival
(with a future)
and my heart aches
for those whose identity is torn between
aquí y allá –
for those whose skin is kissed more by the sun
for those not welcomed in the land their parents believed promised
a world of endless success,
a world of safety.
every waking breath
is a need for survival,
leaving behind everything they know
and not looking back.
the universe belongs to us.
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