Make No Mistake

Home lies in the wrinkles on the corner of my father’s eyes,
In the tremor and resonance of his quaking belly in response to his own jokes.
It shines and captivates through my mother’s smile,
Protests in the deep caramel tone of her arms that nursed me.

Minutes and hours of commodified work,
Entire revolutions around a dwarf star,
Nestled in the callouses of their hands,
Chemical burns of domesticity and reproductive labor,
Cuts from repairing old computers.
The only reparations known.

Our tongue used as a buffer between us and them,
Except not our tongue,
Language, sounds, phonetics, and words,
Given in exchange for land and life.
From medical diagnosis to landlord confrontations,
Transactions of translations wove us closer.
Anxiety anchored each
And
Every
snippet,
Indicative of the worry in encountering an untranslatable term.

The Election required no conversion,
Pain and hate are no stranger to osmosis.
Home became the fumes of the chili that burned on our stovetop,
Penetrating the lungs of anyone in the vicinity.
Plethora of endless recalentado,
Reminiscent of a white noise filled night

We are told we steal,
We rape,
We kill,
We lie,
We bomb,
We deal.

Generalization hazes perception.

Cameras and few textbooks present exhibits,
Lady Liberty holding the plaque “The killings of our people.”
Our lands were stripped,
Handcuffs gave us sore scabs,
Explosions and tirades muffling our resistance.

WE steal jobs?
The poster child of bigotry scooped the oval office.
List of qualifications?
Subtweeting, mansplaining,
Scapegoating and tax evasion.

I am not a delicate snowflake.
My people are not delicate.
We are not delicate.
We have been trampled,
And buried,
Chained to factories,
And burned.

Yet…

We flourish in the cracks and craters,
We fight and march through dust and cold,
In unity and love.
We interlock fingers and break bread,
Bask in frivilliotes and pan dulce.
Chant and mobilize.
Make no mistake.

Our local domain will fill,
With paint swatches of shadow and shades.
Platforms of censored narratives will ring,
Unity and waves amplifying
Each
And
Every
Syll-a-ble.
Make no mistake.