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Friday, December 07, 2018


by Alejandro Escudé

Video by RAICES, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees in Texas.

Tear gas is the language of idiots.
You wore your uniform that day, and died.
I blame you. Because you couldn’t have gone elsewhere.
Been there. You have mouths to feed.
I’ve seen that too. I have mouths to feed.
They feed on meaning. You listen to this President.
You recall your history, don’t you?
Abraham Lincoln. John F. Kennedy.
You look up at the Nixon moon.
It is too soon for the gas chambers.
The suits are on hangers. You give a nice speech.
As the poor people run holding their eyes in their hands.
I was a baby once. Do you recall?
The nation is here. The nation is Mexico.
Born on an island of sacrifice.
Like Marquez, you give them ice.
They run south instead of north. The north is full of promise.
The promise is made of money. The money,
When burned, smells of mota.
I smoke the mota you son of a bitch.
I smoke the women of the United States, so quick to divorce.
Guns. Ah, if that was really your problem!
Wink. Wink. If you arrive in Cabo San Lucas,
A woman tilts your head back
And pours tequila down the American carretera.
The years will pass. The American President
will die of some disease, eighty years-old, crazy.
His wife in pictures. Pictures. His wife.
This life is the same for us all.
I drink a shot of tequila for the migrants
Who are crossing the border while being detained.
They have achieved the American Dream,
Which is not wealth, or health, or living.
The American Dream. You smell it after the shared eagle.
To become the threat. Un hombre in the hands of niños.

Alejandro Escudé published his first full-length collection of poems My Earthbound Eye in September 2013. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from UC Davis and teaches high school English. Originally from Argentina, Alejandro lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.