ICE Agents Storm My Porch

By Maria Melendez Kelson Maria Melendez Kelson
The Indiscriminate Citizenry of Earth
are out to arrest my sense of being a misfit.
“Open up!” they bellow,
hands quiet before my door
that’s only wind and juniper needles, anyway.

You can’t do it, I squeak from inside.
You can’t make me feel at home here
in this time of siege for me and mine, mi raza.
Legalized suspicion of my legitimacy
is now a permanent resident in my gut.

“Fruit of the prickly pear!” they swear,
striding up to my table
to juice me a glass of pink nectar.
They’ve brought welcome baskets
stuffed with proof I’m earthling.

From under a gingham cover,
I tug a dark feather
iridescing green — cohering
to “magpie” thought,
to memory’s chatter,
to mind. Mine.

And here they have my mind translated
into a slate-surfaced pond, which
vibrates in the shape
of a cottonwood’s autumn molt,
which trees me to dirt, which soils me
heat & freeze —

But you’ll always be
one definitive document short! I complain.
Doubts can forever outstrip
your geo-logic.

For which they produce
a lock of my natal dust,
bronzed
to the fluttering fiber
of lacebark pine.

Where’d they get that stuff?

The baskets are bottomless,
and it’s useless for me to insist
on being distinct.
Undergoing re-portation,
I’m awakened to a Center,

where walls
between all beings
are dreamt to dissolve.

Source: Poetry (March 2014).

 Maria  Melendez Kelson

Biography

Maria Melendez Kelson teaches literature and writing at Pueblo Community College in Pueblo, Colorado. Her poetry collections include How Long She'll Last in This World (University of Arizona Press, 2006) and Flexible Bones (University of Arizona Press, 2010).

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Poems by Maria Melendez Kelson

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Body, The Mind, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity, War & Conflict

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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