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It turns out you might be
part of a mass migration (or
an invasion, depending on
the perspective of the speaker)
without even knowing that
your own imperative to go
grows out of the same need
that drives a million more
to pack up what little fits
and set out for a border.

You might find yourself
wondering what beyond
the trickling Rio Bravo del Norte
separates the inhospitable
scrub on one side of the border
from its mirror image on the other,
if not foolish vanity.

You might make your way
tentatively across desert
and desolation, into a new world
where custom and language
hold you forever almost-home.

And in the end you might
sigh in deep relief on the day
you walk out of inmigración
clutching your long-awaited
tarjeta verde, like a million other
displaced gringos finding refuge
in México.

Kenneth Salzmann is the author of The Last Jazz and Other Poems. He lives in the mountains of central Mexico.
2019, Volume 71, Issue 05 (October 2019)
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