Watching Amerika killing our kin
I am ashamed
Say what you need
About justice and hypocrisy and the ruthlessness of systems
Separating us from each other
It’s already been said

So what do I do with this moment? With this suspension of time and space?
I don’t know.
All I know is that it feels like an impasse…

What have I learned? I’ve learned that language brainwashes the mind

That there are sentences I can’t help but take
Images I can’t help but take in
And that these figments remain with me wherever I go,
Each with a shadow of their own

What have I become?
Who have I memorized?

I remember my uncle, mi tio, the only man I ever knew…

A man who is unknown, unaccounted for, undocumented.

I think of the 4-4, and ask myself what kind of sick mind would ever dehumanize a man like my tio, who saved my life from certain death at the hands of these violent markets we maintain…

Markets which afford us the privilege to ignore the institutionalized disfiguration and demoralization of our kin.

I guess it’s just that: the system carved inside of the minds of those who run and maintain the institutions…

Which I’ve no choice but to face when I get up in the morning to meet the day.

Of course I determine my future, and of course I am freedom

But I am also not free so long as my kin are being shot and left to gasp their last breaths on the street

I am not free so long as my kin are unable to live and breathe in peace.

But I think of my tio, who doesn’t know about any of that…

Not because he doesn’t care,
But because he’s got his own language
Or lengua to come terms with.

What would he make of all this?

I remember the day he saw me out of a jail cell for the first time

When I was enchained like an animal turned property of the State

And when he said to me “this is the real test now,”

“This is where you have to make a choice.”

I stood before the light then

Tall and centered for him and ama

And irreducible
Not fully knowing but somehow knowing

How existence was resistance.

Today, even if I can only mutter it between breaths
Lodged inside of lungs held down by the brutality of
21st century Amerikan justice and hypocrisy

Today I say to my sisters and brethren, my kin:

I am sorry,
But we are still here.

No matter how much
They try to teach us otherwise.

Our existence is still our resistance;
We shall still overcome.

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