De piedra, sangre.
I make my own heaven. I drag it out of the streets, and
inhospitable terrains. I mixed “tabique”, brick, mortar with
my hands, kneading,
I need, to make my own heaven.
It is clandestine, in broad daylight.
It’s microwave popcorn, from Costco, because Costco can
cross the border as many times as it wants and it has never
been asked to go back to where it came from. Not in this
kitchen, scrubbed so clean, with bleach, that the roaches have
to ask permission to scatter out onto the floor.
Sulema and I, don’t flinch. She has figured me out. We know
we have lived some shit and now, it takes more than a
cockroach to keep us from moving, forward.
Fuck the roaches, the military, the long nights and even
longer days. There is popcorn to be made,
a courtyard of children waiting for it.
Baby girl walks in to check on our progress. She is waiting
impatiently for popcorn, the smell of butter making its way
around the shelter, La Casa.
The house is built on a solid foundation of Goodyear tires,
and unpacked, repacked, suitcases, unpacked, repacked plans.
Today, there is popcorn.
All that matters is today,
For my sake, not Sulema’s.
The flowerbeds, and the upside-down Christmas trees, drying
out in the sun are beautiful.
I will remember them, when I am warm by a campfire,
watching my children for signs of a chill.
I will remember them,
uneven steps, protruding out of a hillside, going wherever
they need to go.
Wherever they need to go.
There is no going back.
Sulema and I both know this, standing in the hot kitchen of
the TJ shelter, it is obvious.
It is a beautiful truth, it takes hesitation and beats it down,
into the floor.
We danced on it.