The Immigrant

by Mary Grace Guevara


This city is not my city.
This hand which scrambles
to find the file and pen
like seagull scavenging for food
in theme park is not my hand.
This street which squeezes
houses into perfect square brownies
is not my street.

This train ride is not my journey.
Nor the cold food I buy in grocery stores
my nourishment, the bread that
fills my hunger and wine that fires
my blood like autumn burst
in the morning dawn, scorching the
trees of russet skein and golden honey.

This sound from the radio is not
my music. My mother’s music
is raw & pierces my skin.
This smog, garbage & decay-
I do not own them.
I eat, I work, I spend
and put my aches in Ziploc bags.
Every day, I trudge back to
this roof and thin walls but this
is not my home.

This shiny fruit is not my fruit.
The seeds in this package are
dry and scentless.
Until one night
I dream of giant kites
& skies bristling of tamarind fruits.
The maple trees are showing me
how to comb
the soil to feel its teeth.
How to grow
my tongue,
arms & feet.
How to weave
seasons & colors.
How to cast my
words like rice grains for my children.


This poem was one of the winners of the dVerse Poets Pub second anniversary contest.

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