The challenges that children and many other adults face as undocumented individuals are frequently dire. As a result, struggling with self-identity and feeling like an imposter is all too common in this community, and it is particularly severe in children of immigrants. Nonetheless, poetry has always been a form of self-expression for me, a way for my voice to be heard and for me to be able to describe things in ways that I cannot easily do in any other way. I wrote this poem because I came to this country when I was still an infant and so I basically grew up in the United States. I did not grow up in Mexico, the U.S. is all I have ever known. However, that does not change the negative implications that come along with my status. And since I can remember, I have always struggled with understanding who I am. On the one hand, I am too American for Mexico as seen through my broken Spanish. But then on the other hand, I am too much of an immigrant for the U.S. Poetry has helped me understand what it is that I feel in the hopes of healing that part of me. It is to spread awareness for the social-emotional struggles that my community and I have to endure.
Carne producida en un mundo que no reconozco. Yo llegué al mundo con intenciones tan tiernas. Por ocho meses viví en un lugar que me reconoció, pero nunca tuve la oportunidad de celebrar una parte de mí que en el futuro me quitaría oportunidades.
Mi familia me cuenta historias, stories that ring through my ears. “Your flesh shined amidst the city of Jalisco, Mexico.” There, your young cries could be heard through the echoes of your motherland.
"There, your young cries could be heard through the echoes of your motherland."
Tenía ocho meses cuando llegué a los Estados Unidos, no sabiendo que este estado would be the root cause of my self-hatred. At the heart of Jalisco lives my legacy – things that could have been.
Los fantasmas de mi rostro se escuchan por las calles, wishing I could feel the freedom that the citizens of the United States have the privilege to feel. El privilegio de ser ciudadana es una pistola del bien venir en este estado.
Yo llegué a los ocho meses en una tierra que no me quiere. En una tierra que no fue construida para gente como yo. But it’s all I’ve ever known. This country is all I’ve ever known. So how is that fair?
El veneno de los que no me quieren en sus tierras queman mi rostro. “This isn’t your home, go back to your country,” they spit. Pero ellos no saben, that although my motherland recognizes me, I do not recognize her.
Ellos no saben que mis lágrimas siempre han producido guerras de sangre, that it’s a blood war between my mother-land and the U.S.
This is another border I have to cross to understand who I am.