we are the waking snake

peeling and shedding

walking across the spine

of turtle island


we are the birthing memory

of 20,000 years of migration

the hopi say of the mexicano

“that is our younger brother”


i used to worry that my aunt

would get deported. i used to

worry that the border would grow bigger

my tia would laugh at me

saying “Hito, they can’t stop us,

we’ve been crossing this land

long before they got here”


no one can make your spirit illegal

no one can take away the names

in your d.n.a. no one can strip

the talons of the winged snake

in your tongues


we are migration

born into the river bed

mirrors of stone calendars

carved into the feet

of our grandmother’s grandmother’s




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