My great-grandfather crossed a bridge

and they burned it.

They buried my grandfather

and handed my mother to this country.

How many steps would it take

to walk back to the man

that my grandfather affectionately called, “wetback,”

who passed a river I’ll never touch,

(rivers are my day trips and vacations)

feeding into my so-called blood?

My great-grandfather crossed an ocean

and they brought it closer.

He lost an accent and became a doctor

and my grandfather told my dad told me

that he had a direct line to the president.

(When he picked up the phone,

did he hear Russia in the static?)

My great-grandmothers

probably crossed


but nobody told me-

they reside in me

and somehow, also,

do not exist.


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