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Sexing the Political: A Journal of Third Wave Feminists on Sexuality

Krista Jacob

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©Krista Jacob, 2004
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Volume Three
Number Two
May 2004

La Migra
Adela C. Licona

Mija, he says to me in an accent I no longer hear,
no somos Chicanos.

Why do you say that he asks.

I look at him, the migra, patrolling my borders,
keeping me an alien from within.

What do you mean, I ask? 

Didn’t you grow up in el barrio Daddy, wearing zoot suits and calling yourself Pachuco?

And didn’t they call you Chile when you worked in the bowels of the government ships during WWII to prove your loyalty and citizenship to a country that was suspicious of both?

I remember las viejitas en la iglesia and pedos do monja at the bakery.  I remember your chanclas, and your bata, and the Spanglish we sometimes spoke in our home.

And wasn’t that Josefina who lit candles on your belly para purificarte?

Why do you police my borders?

One brother says to me, with an authority I no longer hear,
you aren’t Chicana, you didn’t see violence growing up.

I look at him, the migra, patrolling my history now,
keeping me an alien from within.

What do you mean, I ask?

Violence alone does not define me.  But I did see violence.  I saw it residing as rage behind your eyes, erupting from your throat, and exploding at the end of your fists.  

Didn’t they change your name when you got here?  You were not Memo, he was not Miguel, you were William and Michael.  We didn’t know you, and you didn’t recognize yourselves.  Someone else was policing (y)our borders then,
you were only in training.

And don’t you remember they locked our doors before you came home at night to keep the violence on the other side, so that the hermanas didn’t get hurt by it?

Why do you police my borders?

Mija, he says to me in an accent I no longer hear,
No eres lesbiana.  No digas eso.  Just say you’re a feminist like you used to, that covers a lot of ground.

I look at him, the migra again, patrolling my sexuality now,
keeping me an alien from within.

What do you mean, I ask?



Adela C. Licona is interested in the practices, politics, and poetics of representation.  She is at work exploring and exposing (B)Orderlands' Rhetorics and their representational potentials.  The forthcoming work from which her work here is excerpted is entitled: Third-space Sites and Subjectivities: Agency, Authority, and (Re)Presentation (Re)Imagined and (Re)Considered.

 

 

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