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Sunday, June 23, 2019


by Myriam Arias

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A legal team that recently interviewed over 60 children at a Border Patrol station in Texas says a traumatic and dangerous situation is unfolding for some 250 infants, children and teens locked up for up to 27 days without adequate food, water and sanitation. —NBC News, June 21, 2019

You always have been a lonely traveler,
haven’t you?

Lonely girl with no home;
your body is a house that you are not yet familiar with.

A country you were not born in
but you’re told it’s yours
you’re told it’s lovely
and if you could only see it.

But your body feels more like an almost
Like the distance between your mother’s hands and her home country
A space you don’t really belong in
but force yourself into.

An almost-
Que eres?
Niña de piel morena
con corazón de arcoiris.

You are the scars on your Mama’s back
and the gold coins in your Papa’s pocket.

Both a blessing and curse
you do not belong here.

What gave you the right
to sit in this American dream?

Dilute your adobe eyes
with the glimmer of white picket fences and nuclear families.

Let this sweet American air
fill the space in your lungs?


Your body will reject it.
Too sweet.

Lines of poems you will never write
will coat the inside of your mouth.

Choke on your words.
Swallow them.

     They do not quite belong here.

Myriam Arias is a third-year writing and literature major at University of California, Santa Barbara. She hopes her art moves forward her narrative and those of others like her so that their voices will be heard.