Undocumented Joy

Abuelita laughing breaking a Piñata

I don’t remember crossing

so I can not tell you about the journey

sometimes I close my eyes

and imagine a pitch black sky

with a thousand little stars

I image a poetic crossing

my grandmother’s hand tugging at my arm

a rush of wind

Abuelo leading the way

I image a crossing without fear

just dreams

and Abuela’s goals

to raise my brother and I

into hardworking men

I crossed without the trauma

latching unto my body

crossed unscarred

even tho

mis viejitos tell me

how they had to

stuff the four of us under the backseat of a car

sometimes I wish I could remember

then maybe just maybe

I would have another story to tell

I can only tell you about how poor we were

living in that small apartment

in the Eastside

how embarrassed I was

to invite my friends over

even tho we all lived like this

I can only tell you about how proud I was

of Abuela

who asked me to teach her english

scribbled on our refrigerator door

you can sometimes see the residue

of the markers I used to teach her basic words

I wish you would ask of the memories

I had before my identity became political

about the laughs

the joy

the things I love

about the way I have managed to survive

I wish I could tell you about the journey

but all I know is that I am here

and I am not going anywhere

this is home.

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