By Diana Ayala-Carrillo

 

you’re not wrong

I, too often 

go inside my mind 

leaving you behind

 

how to explain 

intimacy does not dissolve

otherness

 

on borrowed time, babe

at the whim of 

men in suits

who will never know

 

The Sacrifice 

 

leaving  family

home

language

land

for a taste of

“opportunity”

 

Cliff divers ready to jump 

unaware the sea is coming to a boil

 

borrowed clothes

borrowed apartments

borrowed lives

 

what world?

no, but seriously

what is your world?

a galaxy beyond mine

such freedom, travels

are rarely afforded

to us

 

but yes

no problem!

I reassure you

we are not different

you and i

next Bud and tequila round 

Is on me

 

You always take

I always give

 

always

two places at once

more than one job

ingles sin barerras 

smoke less, drink more

cash check, wire money 

western union dreams

 

always

the fear

at arms length

a deportation letter

suits at the door, ready to announce 

that the jig is up

this life was never  yours

 

we stand, disgraced

yet unsurprised 

knowing the end near

forever looming 

 

A recurring dream

of brown men and women

standing on a vast dirt road

tears streaming down their face

violently crying out to their mothers

for forgiveness

 

when I awake

I think of my father’s hands 

 

But one morning

I swear to you

I see myself as child 

on the front page of the Times

round faced brown child, straight black hair

weeping for her mother

 

we will never know

exactly how much of her

dissolved in that moment

but yet

we come to this place

and will continue to do so

 

pray for us

 

This poem was written in response to the exhibition I Come To This Place, which was on view the summer of 2019 at Smack Mellon in Brooklyn, NY.

Diana Ayala-Carrillo is a photographer, writer, and curator in the past working at Artforum now living in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has shown in Rockrgrl Magazine, at the Knockdown Center in Maspeth, Queens, and in Culturework Magazine, among others. She has curated exhibitions and screenings at Outpost, Gallery 1412, and Spring/Break Art Show, focusing on interdisciplinary artists working in photography, video, performance, and installation.