Crisol (Melting Pot)

A revision of a poem I originally wrote for the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference last fall and that I read at Marist’s Literary Arts Society’s Poetry Slam this spring as well as CURSCA.

Tighten the borders of her lips, her eyes, her waist
make her face proportionally generic
that she might blend in, assimilation
as though she were purely matter
prone to sublimation under extreme
temperatures and pressures placed
upon her back curving slightly
into a question mark asking why
her mother couldn’t afford milk

Measure the characteristics of her persona
non grata ordering empanadas at a stand
run by freckle-marked redheads
sneering at her god-given protection
from the sunshine but not the shiner
healing blue to yellow under her left eye
matching the blanket sewn by mi abuela
hiding the child she wishes to baptize
in treated water, not sewer spit

Count and qualify each unique leg stride
and arm swing identification
always in motion to cross borders
break boundaries conceived by man
with dreams marching in Technicolor
nightmares trudging tears of a trail
in the land of freedom
ringing in tones of fizzing soda, sizzling grills
the buzz of fast food intercoms

Verify her behavior, tell her who she
court order her to leave this land
this bubbling melting pot
because she and her child might make
homogenized mas picante,
might bring out the mix of flavors
so we taste each immigration story
seasoned by history and time
bittered with an unapologetic aftertaste

Creative Commons License
This work by Sarah Holmes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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