A diaspora gives birth

Like a whisper caressing the back of our necks / kissing a line connecting sporadic wisps of hair / that’s how we feel it / a promise of a home we ever got to claim / made from bricks the color of earth / as deep and rich and brown as our skin.

We let our hands dive down our curves in waves / mirroring that beaches full of untouched sand / when la luna tickles the bottom of our feet / with her pointed edges on a half-full night / that’s how we feel it.

Swaggering across red white and blue streets / spitting words made from hard sounds / our lives depend on sounding as white / as the stars on the star-spangled banner / ‘cause the home we dream about like as a whisper / isn’t real anymore for our elders / and sure as hell never was for us.

We try to feel the hearts of our gods / who talked to us before another god interrupted / but their hearts don’t beat beat beat for la luna.

In that moonlight the tears of our great-grandmother’s great-grandmother / who can’t taste Tenochtitlan on her lips the way her great-grandmother tastes it / make a space in our young throats like mercury.

It burns us without mercy and we don’t mind / not remembering is half the pain in our lives / and remembering is the rest of it.

We tighten our fists against theirs / ‘til they turn white and white hot / still not lacking enough color to make them believe / that we are part of them like they are part of us.

Defending ourselves against conquistadors is written in our nerves screaming bleeding pain.

Alex Luceli Jiménez is a Chicanx writer from the little windy SoCal city of Fontana. Currently, she is a sophomore studying comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley. Although she moonlights as a poet-novelist, she spends her days as an editor at Berkeley Fiction Review and The Daily Californian, both of which have also published her original fiction and poetry. This is her first poetry publication in a literary journal. You can find her journalistic endeavors at dailycal.org/author/ajimenez and tweet her @alexluceli.