WFMJ: Phoenix

Dear old world,
~after L.M. Montgomery

dear brave, fluttering, flowing old world,
dear hungering world, cracked and blistered world,
dear world embarrassed at yourself, at what you
are capable of, bursting open in spring with every seed
aware, dear old hand-me-down world,
worn down with footsteps, dear starving world,
down-to-your-last-dollar world, world of wolf and pine,
seashore and circus, dear gutted world, spilling
your black blood, dear starlit, sunburnt, speckled old
world, old standing-your-ground world,
old strumming-the-same-tune world, old world of words
said and unsaid, good done and undone,
dear world where I stand trembling, heartworn,
barely believing, faith-flung, earthquaked, eyesore,
misunderstood and misunderstanding, dear old
thorned and petalled world, dear old polluted
and corrupt world, forlorn, unseamed, fragrant,
wrathful world, dear chirping world, graffitied and burned
down, bulleted, marred and pasted-together-again,
dear moon-shadowed, mothered, mutilated world,
quarreling and quelled world, old lost-in-your-torn-dress
world, behind on the rent and stuck in the same blooming,
burning, spinning round and round and round job world,

You are lovely. You are very lovely,
and I am glad to be alive in you.

Michelle Salcido is an editor for TRR.

Photo by Shawnte Orion

After 22 died in my hometown(s) on August 3rd, 2019

I was born in a port of entry.
You call it that way.
Imposing in my feet when -NOT-
or to cross your imaginary land.

My ancestors
from my mother’s land
are well known for their brown feet.

A gift they learned
as they crossed canyons.
It was taken from me,
the right to speak
and learn their cosmogonia.

in our typical, systematic abandonment of…
because we know,
I was born de una woman.

I had to learn about your imaginary lands:
I learn about your manifest destiny,
Your greatest,
our greatest disease:

Your delusional imagination
thought that if you could get
the great state[s] deals
You could end up in the moon.

Mexictli (Mexico)

de una woman.

Mexictli (Mexico)

Belly button
de una womb.

Mexictli (Mexico)

Now you feel more entitled to get rid of us,
in the best way you have
learned and mastered
throughout our times.
When we,
THEY actually were already here before you.

I ask myself,
Is the color of the skin you inherited
me going to save me when I
speak father?

As I speak,
your eyes turn into disappointment,
As they notice something
must be wrong with me.

Am I still a thread,
for you
because I was des-

parida en tu línea imaginaria?

Is my physicality good enough
to protect me from our diseases?

Can I be the voice of
[re] entry for my people?

Can I speak of our strength?
Of what I have learned?
Carne, tierra y alma fronteriza

Am I more than the anomaly,
for having half of the amount of melanin
that is needed for this imaginary land
sun city
and valleys?

That is,
the abundance of melanin that you condemn.

Can I,
speak up for OUR
imaginary lines?

You become the border that you did not want it to be?

Antonieta Carpenter-Cosand was born in El Paso, Texas, United States and grew up in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. She received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and a bachelor’s in Spanish literature from Arizona State University. She is currently studying a doctorate degree in Spanish Literature at the same institution. Apart from her studies, Carpenter-Cosand maintains a painting practice inspired by this research and actively participates in poetry readings, inspired by her border identity within a diverse community in Phoenix. She also spends her time studying ecology, climate change and advocating for more conscious life style.