How To Spot an Illegal Alien (words(on)pages)
How To Spot An Illegal Alien
Look down at the hands.
See the rough wear from labor
and skin soaked in sun.
Or in the cream on the elote
The chili powder on the fruit
The way the oil and flour roll into the tortilla
Underneath the hairnets of the
restaurant you adore.
Look south to the rivers and see
them, expert swimmers.
See them on the corner,
next to the railroad in downtown Houston –
just waiting out there to take your job.
In the yard of your neighbor,
blowing leaves, fully-clothed in 100 degrees.
In the cotton field in the 1930s
sacrificing education, for family.
In the way a grape tastes sweet in your mouth,
They’re their now – inside you.
Eating their Ice Cream outside in 1940,
because, No Mexicans Allowed inside.
Inside of blocked Immigration Reform.
Staring down the barrel of a Texas Ranger’s gun.
Singing the chorus of de colores
while cleaning your bathroom
while cleaning your house
while cleaning a country.
They’re inside the beat of your Zumba class,
and the way your hips do that gentle sway.
They look like Jennifer Lopez, Frida Kahlo, Cesar Milan, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, George Lopez, Robert Rodriguez, Juan Felipe Herrera and the garbage man, your postwoman
like your doctor and lawyer, your mother and father,
like the red white and green
and red white and blue.
They look like me and they look like you.
They look like the eagle that soars through
the rocky mountains,
the cougar on the cliff.
They are the sunrise and the sunset.
They are the foundation.
They are the soil underneath your feet
and if you just look all around,
you’ll find them in the air you breathe
and you’ll find them
etched into a statue,
at the beginning of a great nation,
in between the words
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me…
They are inside this sea.
The are the crispness in a uniform,
And the snap of a salute.
They’re fighting for your freedoms
for your families
and for you.
They are feathers and snake skin.
They are deep breathes and slow sighs.
They are people, not pawns.
They are cells flowing through the blood
in my veins and they’re my curly hair.
My dark eyes and they’re my voice.
They are My voice.
They are The Breath. The inhale. The exhale.
They are a nation.
They are Us.