I’m from immigrant dreams
Born amidst war and faded stories
of rape and guerrilla warfare
from instinctual survival
from creativity caught in 22
or 15 children with no shoes
who witness Mami getting beat in the other room
only to hear over and over again:
“This is where we come from this is who you’ll be”
Villages killed and teachers hung by U.S. trained military
We’ve been trained to hold our tongues
to become field slaves who hunger in the night
for a new visionary thinking freedom is still to come
We believe freedom is still to come
So we sleep and bathe in the stench of this American dream
knowing that in reality
I come from need to survive so that we may live
so that I may give and belong
if not to a family than to a struggle and a song
if not to my mother then to mi pueblo and these poems
See I was raised on the memories of my people
so that I may know them
so that I may remember
I come from border crossing
crushing silence and the desperation of belonging
from broken hearts and minds
but fighting spirits
Always fighting
En la lucha
no hay de otra
Si se puede!
Si se puede seguir
in this neverending desire to be
to be something more than lost childhood dreams
to be something more than child of child who knew no tenderness in their seams
who cannot name their tears
who are without the privilege of living
without fear
You see I come from the need to survive
so that we may live
Pero me dicen:
“Oye niña quien tienetiempo para justicia
si tengo que limpiar esta casay darle de comer a mi familia
antes de ir a mi segundo trabajo!”
But they tell me:
“Yo E! Who has time for justice anyway
when all we have isjust us and a payday!”
I say, true But to answer your question
I have not found my home in a city or a place
Rather I have seen my seeds sown and grown in the potential
of this here page so in the midst of it all
all you really need to know is I was raised on hope
that the living would come alive
That we could do more then just survive
so that I could stand here and look in your eyes
to remind you in case you may have forgotten
tu eres mi otro yo
You are my other me
So you better findyour place in this struggle
because it’s about that time for our people
to live free.

Related: More ‘Viva Macondo’ entries

Edyka Chilomé is a queer literary artist, performer, educator, and cultural worker based in North Tejas. She has published numerous articles, essays, and poems including a collection of poetry that explores...