Nocturne

Blacked out the first day in this country
I wasn’t deported back to Nogales. Always

June 10th, 1999: official entry. I ran
to Mamá Pati when the first gringos


not wearing uniforms talked to me.
Before 9/11, it was okay for a nine-year-old


to not have papers at Phoenix International.
On the plane, I wanted to walk on clouds,


cebada clouds I called them. I mean to say
even Mamá Pati doesn’t know how I ran


from La Migra’s uniforms when I was nine,
I thought the fog over the hills around SFO


was that barley-and-milk drink I sold
before school in front of Abuelita’s house.
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