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Wednesday, July 08, 2015


by Clara B. Jones

Prospect Park tunnel by TurnoftheSue

I am Mexican, but my immigration status is none of your business. I am no rapist or murderer, but Donald Trump has my ticket. It was easy to cross the border at El Alberto. Even the patrol looked the other way. I hitched rides to Newark where my cousin, César, picked me up. He worked in a fancy restaurant in Brooklyn, washing dishes and, sometimes, peeling spuds. His best friend was an Irish guy nicknamed, The Fish, by his father because he was born on Friday. From the beginning, The Fish treated me like shit and told César I was only good for taking bags from the South Bronx to Harlem, the closer to 42nd Street the better. I didn't mind carrying cocaine, but one day the pack was heavier than usual, and I figured it must be a piece. The Fish fooled me; but, not for long. I called César and told him to meet me in the Prospect Park tunnel ahora mismo, and he showed up an hour later with The Fish at his side. When I pulled out the gun, The Fish yelled, “Stupid Spic!”, and lunged at my chest. It happened so fast, I didn't know what to do. But, as I was running away from the cops, I could see they left César's cap in the street.

Clara B. Jones is a retired scientist, currently practicing poetry in Asheville, NC. As a woman of color, she writes about social relations and the moral dimensions of power. Erbacce, CHEST, Ofi Literary Magazine, Transnational, PANK, and 34th Parallel are among the venues her poems and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in, and she is the author of the weblog, Ferguson and Other Poems About Race: A Chapbook (2015). In the 1970s, Clara studied with Adrienne Rich and, more recently, with the poets Meghan Sterling and Eric Steineger.