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Emmy Pérez

excerpts from “Cajas/Boxes with Zero Tolerance”

By Emmy Pérez In 1930, my tatarabuela still spoke Rarámuri.
Detribalized now as we’ve been from Turtle Island,
south and north of the río grande, west and east
it’s no surprise that we’re still writing about
our identities, brown women regarded
as brown women, they’d say equally as if
a consolation for any.
M. Soledad Caballero

Immigrant Confession

By M. Soledad Caballero The Cherokee are not originally from Oklahoma. Settlers forced
them to disappear west, into air and sky, beyond buildings,
beyond concrete, beyond the rabid land hunger. There was
a trail. There was despair. Reservations carved out of prairie
grass, lost space and sadness in the middle of flat dirt.
Jasminne Mendez

Machete: Look

By Jasminne Mendez It isn’t easy / to look / at what I have / cut. Which is to say — / wounded / from the body / of a tree / or a woman / or a child.
Jonathan Mendoza

Onomástico

By Jonathan Mendoza You ask me for my name,
and I say, “It’s pronounced Mendoza,”
and again, the Spaniard spits it out my throat,
pats me on the tongue,
tells me I have been a good subject,
and again, I have traded this empire
for my former one.
Hakim Bellamy

El Paso Uno

By Hakim Bellamy No one woke up, that Saturday, mourning. / No one woke up that Saturday morning with intentions of becoming a back to school vigil. / No one woke up not expecting to finish out a sophomore year...that had barely be- // gun.
Lupe Mendez

Un tornillo en el corazón - after @jacobsoboroff

By Lupe Mendez don’t even know where to start.
you notice when you walk into the shelter — no joke —
a new war.
Franny Choi

You’re So Paranoid

By Franny Choi A wall of cops moves like a wall of water on a barge no beauty.

A wall of iron swallows the woman who falls to the ground and keeps
falling. There’s a video. The picture stays intact (again).

It’s not pretty, meaning it’s hard to watch.
George Abraham

the ghosts of the dead sea rewrite the history of drowning

By George Abraham sink [ the bodies ] sink [ unholy ] sink [ in their own ] sink sink [ home ] sink [ the bodies ] sink [ i lift ] sink [ zion's expense ] sink [ in skin ] sink [ & bone ] sink sink [ coarse & crystalline ] sink sink [ & wound ] sink sink [ i swallow ]
Marjan Naderi

Learning My Name

By Marjan Naderi In first grade, I told kids my name was Sarah.
Saw the way Sarah lifted the curtain
But never cleared the confusion
white enough for no one to ask questions.
Pacyinz Lyfuong

The Day I Learned to Speak My Grandmother’s Tongue

By Pacyinz Lyfuong The day I learned to speak my grandmother’s tongue
An Eastern wind shifted the earth
While the western walls were whisked away…
And the mountains of Laos rose on the horizon,
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