El Puesto | The Post

By Margaret Schumann, Saga ’17

This poem imagines the history of Ivan, or Elian, a man selling goods at a small tienda at the boundary between Nogales, México and Nogales, Arizona, United States. In it I hope readers can pass through the numbers and lines that define here and there, this language and that one, belonging and exclusion.

Spanish

Una semana caminando

por nopales, calor y montañas

angelitos turquesas cantando

pasos

un paso

 

Media hora para una decisión

un tribunal con cuarenta

mexicanos, salvadoreños, guatemaltecos

auriculares

tantos cabrones

 

Cuatros meses

una fantasía de fuerza

cercas rodean plásticos, espera

piernas

mis ideas

 

5 minutos para una salida

mediante cámaras, coches y oficiales

a través de

mala suerte

gringa

 

Demasiadas horas con líneas

de la parrilla

de gente (casi nunca)

detrás

un siempre

 

Hoy un día de partida

un carro de compras

desaparecido del Walmart

yo

la frontera

 

English

One week walking

through cacti, heat and mountains

singing turquoise angels

steps

a passing

 

Half an hour for a decision

a court with forty

Mexicans, Salvadorans, Guatemalans

headsets

so many bastards

 

Four months

a fantasy of force

fences encircling plastics, waiting

legs

my ideas

 

5 minutes for a parting

through cameras, cars, and officials

across

American

misfortune

 

Too many hours with lines

of the grate

of the people (almost never)

behind me

an always

 

Today a day of leaving

a shopping cart

disappeared from Walmart

me

the border

 

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