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Mi apa me enseño a hacer pulseras that he used to always make while I was growing up. When he was teaching me, his hand began to ache and he couldn’t follow the movements. He told me it was okay, that it was because of the cold, but I know that’s not true, and I know that he knows, I know it’s not true. 

For 20 years my parents have been working nonstop in order to live up to a standard I’d like to believe they established but I know otherwise. I’m watching them die before my eyes and I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to go back home.

Tied to legalities, así como un nudo en la garganta. 

A knot in the throat. I feel the border in my throat. 

I used tierra from the Douglas/Agua Prieta border, tierra from my home, reclaimed clay, my dad’s work clothes knotted together for length, bedsheets, and my body. 

 

Gracias a mis angeles guardianes. 

La Chaparrita y el Chillón.

Es para ellos.

 

Words said throughout:

Angel de la guarda

Mi dulce compañia

No me desampares

Ni de noche

Ni de dia

Porque sin ti

Me perderia

 

The sweat dripping down his sun beaten temples unto the sun bleached tierra still exists.

A sign of life. 

 

Tied to legalities, así como un nudo en la garganta. 

Pero no cualquier nudo, es un nudo que mata. A knot I wish I could undo, I’m trying to undo, but this sort of knot has been woven into the fabric of what this country is and continues to be. So how do I begin to undo a truth that terrifies me to my core, to a place I choose to forget exists. 

 

Tied to legalities, así como el Nudo de la garganta.

Not existing as whole, as one or the other, as other. Always as other. 

 

Podrán decir que para ser un inmigrante tienes que ser sobresaliente, outstanding. 

To be outstanding is to be exceptionally good. By being exceptionally good one might be granted protection. 

 

He mirado las maneras en que mis padres se persignan antes de salir por la puerta in order to protect themselves from their own shadows and what they might say.

An inherited fear, passed on from generation to generation. The thing with an inheritance in the form of trauma, is that it sometimes fails to surface. This could be said because we didn’t cross any river, so we didn’t learn to stay above the surface, we learned to stay as close to the tierra as possible so that la migra wouldn’t hear us.

 

So to dip mi apa’s clothes in clay was a way for me to make his labor lasting, enduring, just like his body. But the thing is that his body should not have to endure so much pain in order to survive.  My parents will die one day, ya lo se. 

Pero nunca aceptaré que su muerte será por efecto de un cuerpo cansado, sobrecargado. 

A working of the body, their body, until it meets the grave.

 

I pray to the sun. I ask her to protect us, not to shine her light so brightly upon my dad’s brown body.

Escondemelo por favor.

 

Gracias a mis angeles guardianes. 

La Chaparrita y el Chillón.