I’m starting to believe little brown girls
should just skip school reports. Trade the gold stars and neatly divided
reading score columns for four news mic’s
and a dark cherry podium
where Fatima sobbed,
amidst the selfish shutter
of news cameras,
“I saw my dad three days ago.
He looks way skinnier.”
Estas muchachas son living Little Women,
fathers deported during our Second
Civil War, where Confederates drop
their ceremonial robes and sport
Monday’s polo shirt and slacks.
“The problem of the twenty-first century
is the problem of the Color Line”—a black-and-white
insignia called Vanguard America
rebirthed a Nation.
A clansmen’s coupe incites a coup,
and in so doing, crashes into a melting pot
plaza. Black shards expose
the Teflon myth
that a single, gray Dodge
jumpstarted 1860 in an old hickory
Pero if liberals had looked inside Fatima eyes,
hubieran visto a glassy realm: que nada ha cambiado,
except today, white America scraped its own coating
and inhaled a noxious fume.
of undocumented damas,
is to zoom in an iPhone.
Punch in on papá’s lightning-bolt beanie,
as he stumbles inside the squad car.
Brown girls don’t cry for cute boys,
but for dark-badged ones
whose blue bloods in Virginia
let a white man mow down human life,
while brown men, who all their life
have only mowed down front yards,
are ripped from them.
The car is metonymy for Neo-Nazi ,
The car drove backward, like its history.
The car, in countless headlines, was given
an active verb, “mow down,”
before we ever were.
for these coming-of-wage muchachas
is to study American cities—
Ferguson, Baltimore, Charlottesville–
as coffin nails. Each hashtag crosshairs rests atop
their blue-checkered skirt, so the uniform Fatima wore,
while dropped off Academia Avance Charter,
is replaced by a navy blazer,
twice-planchado for the iron-press
With hair pulled away, ears wide
from mamá’s pinches, Fatima paints
her pale grief
in brown Hughes:
A dream detained, doesn’t dry up
nor fester, but is unplucked
from our rusty stake
in this bleeding democracy.
As the next Fatima
announces another city