I. No Man’s Land
I saw a tennis shoe lying on the
side of the road to América,
Half sunk in the heaviest of desert sands—
shipwrecked, pillaged by the winds
and blazing sun.
II. Childhood Lessons
At age two, she knows what illegal aliens
sound like—she’s been listening since birth.
An illegal alien lullabies her to sleep: “Duérmase
mi niña. Duérmase me ya porque
su mamá se va a trabajar.”
At age twelve, she’s learning what illegal aliens
look like—she’s been trained since birth.
She overhears the neighbors: “Look at their shoes.
Illegal aliens wear non-brand tennis shoes.”
(Not like Americans. Real Americans
can afford Western gods—real American
products—the battlefield and victory
looming at their feet, Nikes manufactured
by Koreans, Taiwanese, Chinese
III. The Art Project
For $215 dollars, she sells you a pair
of Brinco Crosstrainers, so you can display a pair
in your living room? So your neighbor
can see them—like the white progressive
couple serving a Wetback Salad
at their wedding.
If you want to cross the comal of death,
she hands you a pair of tennis shoes for free,
equipped with a map and pain
killers … to begin the trek of
senseless deaths with
a thousand crosses,
mounds of rocks to
pave the road like
a North Star.
IV. The Wanderer
He walks in heat like a blazing
match with a gallon of
water to quench the dry
A pair of old socks and
tennis shoes melt on his
feet like gum on a
V. Arizona Dream Shoes
I will hand you a pair of Arizona Dream
Tennis Shoes blessed by God,
the Presidents, and the Virgin
Mary herself. These tennis shoes
will make your feet tireless
like our ancestors, treading these borderless lands,
now painted and encaged
by law-abiding US citizens.
(May 8, 2010)