i have walked too many miles in my own shoes to care anymore about what this american paradigm is trying to lie to me. i was born in this america as a mexican on the weekends or weekdays. depending on how american my environment is . was or could be. i can’t tell you how many times i’ve lost the sense of my own mexicanness inside of america. and yet the border crosses me out. because in mexico and latin america i get lost in how american i am. just another gringo. despite the the fact that i will never be a gringo or white american or american as mexican apple pie. we die here. over and over. mexican americans die here and get lost here. in this america that holds to many keys for its own kingdom and doesn’t want to share them . without this america. we are as american as an america that loses to itself. this america has to many racial credit card debts. this american has too many people that it tried to sweep under its quilt. under its carpet. under its sensibility. this america that loses its own name and its own identity when it tries to convince itself that its not native america(n). this american that tries to claim that its not muslim, chinese, mexican, central american. that tries to claim that it was never lost in this ocean. i was born in this america. waiting for the seventh sun. not knowing that it had already been reborn and died 13 times before i realized i was a part of the eight ninth tenth generation. we are american as the tamales and beans that built this nation. we like black america. burned and hung on trees. limbs breaking. limbs broken. and we remember. all the parts that america wants to forget . sweep under its console and pretend its a sea of another pacific. another drowned song. another set of songs. this america that wants too play too many tunes for its own good. i was born in this america. waiting for an american paradigm that wasn’t a paradigm. that wasn’t an ism i was born of this america. born again inside of uc berkeley. beaten by a brown police officer while protesting 187 and the devasation of Colin Powel trying to do away with affirmative action. i born of this america. as protestors on top of the campanelie were locked up fighting for a different berkeley. a different california. a different set of instructions on how we say and admit that this america is racist. this america is classists. this america is trying its hardest to kill its own contradictions. before they have had the chances to become full out lies. too many seeds sown onto this american earth. inside a black america. inside a native america. inside a situational unconditional never forgiving america. that tries to lock itself up. place the keys in its mouth and swallow freedom. for the sake of proving its own false argument. america are you waiting for another sign that you need to stop and look passed all these obsidian mirrors. all the layers of tescatlipocatl that landed on your lap. set fire to all your old flames. and cradled your america land. an undocumented america without enough papers to cover up the ashes of burnt treaties . i am of this america. waiting for another america. waiting for another set of american treatments. of this america still waiting for itself. still trying to criminalize itself for the sake of making profit off of bailing itself. this america i was born into.
i remember walking towards downtown. walking down cesar chavez deep into the tunnel after the bridge. the one that towers over the prisons i didn’t know where prisions. i just knew that at the end of that tunnel was olvera street. some wierd sentimental mexico that i couldn’t afford but walked down there. from cesar chavez and pennsylvania. bussed sometimes for soto st to passed the placita. to a bookstore hidden in some part of downtown not to famous . not too crowded but still too expensive for my own belonging. sitting there with piles of fresh smell of penguin publishing . sci ficitoin books. and all the layers of english words i couldn’t afford. but i would walk in there over and over. before broadway. before downtown becomes downtown. inbetween olvera’s nonsensical white washed mexicanada and the busy towers of a mexican american downtown trying to sell you the most inexpensive plastic rolex you could ever imagine. all the colors flairing bright along the dark pissed concrete of broadway and 7th street. trying to hustle me for my moms dollars. all these places have no price tag inside empty mexican and mexican american pockets. they just stay busy . despereately waiting for under the table no benefit jale dollars to emerge as plastic gold. wood silver. sometimes pennies turn to diamonds here and turn your wrist green with that bracelet you just bought. this bustle is my america. wandering in the hidden and open and sullen pieces of this mexican american paradise.
overlooking the towers. big prisons. big monuments. i stare and glance. and watch grow bigger in my teen years. but don’t know what this america is. i don’t know what is caged behind these buildings.