- How Borders Are Built
You lay me on white sheets. I put two fingers in my mouth and they disappear. In your hair a crown of border patrol point their guns at me; they watch with night vision goggles to see if I’ll wade across our river. I lick
the black corners of your ears; one agent shoots my shoulder. I wonder if you could take them down while you’re on top of me, put them in a box somewhere. I tell you I am desert, my face cracks, reptiles hide in my shadows, my hair grows
because the wind pulls it. You push your face into my ear and I can hear your cochlea echo back my words in dust storms. I cough and you push your shoulder into my mouth. I close my eyes and I can feel the brush that grows along your arms
reach for the sun. You pull your face away and cry into my mouth. I can’t drink all of you; tears spill down my neck and across my body. I flood until you are swallowed too, grated metal collapses into our streets, we pool around concrete tenements; land that never
holds a river quiet. We eat our border every hundred years then build it up again. We ask each other if we’ve crossed any foreign items today, barbed wire fences stapled to our teeth, the juiciest tuna in our back pocket, we say no. [End Page 48]
Natalie Scenters-Zapico is a fronteriza poet from the sister cities of El Paso, Texas, and Juárez, México. She is an MFA candidate at the University of New Mexico in poetry and will be the new poetry coeditor for Blue Mesa Review. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Caper Literary Journal, the Acentos Review, and the Bellevue Literary Review.