The Theory of Walls

after Dr. Joshua Bennet’s interview with The Poetry God

1.
A physics student told him that we are
“too big to be considered by a wall”
(as an explanation to why we aren’t able
to walk through them if we are only particles)
which made me think of my son
and how sometimes I am the only thing he considers.
I am his base.
His knowledge.
Everything he knows.
I probably showed him first.
My body formed his home before he knew
that I was just like him,
part of a lineage.
I was not walls
or ceilings to be broken.
I was not a home
although my warmth says differently.
Home is relative.

2.
Why doesn’t our government employ more scientists?
If they did, they would know
that “people are too big to be considered by a wall.”
They don’t know—
No,
and they don’t care.
Because there are still
Walls being built
and camps being filled.
And I wonder if home is relative?
If a barefoot brown child
has found a body to warm its own?
If they found a soul to connect to
amidst the cold concrete confines.

3.
My nana used to crochet blankets
and gift them.
My sister hung one on her dorm room wall.
I never learned.
One of many skills
I didn’t take the time to inherit.
I wish I could crochet.
Create warmth for people.
A safe place.
A home.

4.
There are emergency clothing drives
within the church walls,
Asylum seekers
from the borderlands.
and other
Homelands
that were kidnapped from their people.
I donate blankets
that are not crocheted.
I could only give what I was given.
My ancestors sacrificed for
me to be gifted
Life.

5.
Why do these children look familiar?
Am I seeing myself in their faces?
I look into a realm
where my grandparents stayed,
on the other side of the border
that limited them.
Are they my sangre?
Not a border.
Not folklore.
Not history.
Are they mirrors
of our self-destruction?

Monique Espinoza is a Latina mother, teaching artist, and poet from Phoenix, Arizona. Her poetry explores sexuality, mental health, motherhood, love and loss. As a teaching artist with the youth poetry program, Project Lit, Monique uses her writing as a catalyst to connect with her community. She is also the producer and host of Unlocked, a monthly open mic in South Phoenix. Monique hopes to continue to give back to her community by creating spaces for people to use writing and performance as tools in their healing.