Tuesday, August 20, 2013

From the Empirical Archives: Arizona

Tara Malcom
Originally published in the February 2013 issue of Empirical

We were drinking malteds
when we saw - them -
chicanos, or mexicans (?),
honking upstreet, flags flaring,
celebrating a victory,
possibly a war won,
or even a game of futbol -
they were waving out windows
we did it! lo hicimos!
we mocked them high-fiving
& boy, did we do it -
me the mick
& you the jew.

Now, I look at the state
I spent my young summers
in uproar.

“They’re devouring the words of chicanos
& pretending every word is laced
with the devil’s LSD.
It’s terrible” I say now,
silently remembering the day
we walked amongst the murals.

At the corner of 24th and Hampshire
a young boy waved his flag at me
& I smiled, an itch at the back of my throat
that swallowed like hot shame.

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