Another Border Crosser is Dead

Another border
crosser is dead.
The Los Angeles Times
calls it death
& deliverance.
It is the peak
of summer
& the heat kills
even the dream
of the good life
as is the case
of this mother
who could not go on
who could not run away
who could not walk
another mile
just another mile away
from the preying birds
from the praying patrons
of her forsaken land.
I have not yet
gone to mass
to ask for grace
when I saw her father,
his back to the reader
reaching out
to the merciless sun
& surrounded by cacti
that thrive on
the barrenness of the Phoenix
as if the riddler
is just around
asking quixotic questions
about resurrecting
from the graveyard
from all those
that yoke us
to the ground.
Her father roams
in quiet grief
the empty spaces
between a last hope
& its absence.
This is her story,
the young Mexican mother,
two young children in tow
crossing the border
between trying to live
& resisting to die
between hunger
& want
between a dollar
in the pocket
& a peso promised
by political leaders.
In Mexico, there is hunger
in much the same way
we have nothing
in my homeland.
This is why we always
run away, run, run, run, run, run
to where the idea
of life is.
To America, for instance,
in this northern part
where the lunch buffet
is the standard
for pigging out
to eating to your
heart's content
until the only act
you can do
is vomit
is vomit
is vomit
& vomit
& vomit
& vomit
some more
some more
some more.
You pay the equivalent
of half a sack of rice
in Payatas in my famished Manila
& you choose
between so much
& so much more
you do not know
what to pick
to stuff your mouth
to masticate
with dining etiquette
the way the pretenders
of Malibu
of Hollywood
of Tijuana & its smugglers
of Ayala Alabang & its cheats
do, they who have so much
w/o having done anything
to plant a seed
to plant goodness
in their hearts.
& so we cry
to dry our eyes
of the dam of tears
welling up,
we cry for mothers
to cross borders
the borders of our trying
to cross more
border to cross more
to give a chance
to our dream
of food aplenty,
just food
for the body,
just for the body,
never mind,
never mind the soul,
just for the bored
bruised, brutalized body
so that the children
would live
to learn laughter
after taking a full meal.
Such is our story,
we who cross borders,
we border crossers,
in life or
in life after.

A. S. Agcaoili
Carson, CA
Aug 10/05
11:00 PM

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