“Go back to Mexico you dirty wetback” The words are like acid on my skin I walk through the gate I enter the school No one ever tells you what to do when you feel unsafe in school I feel the grotesque body of shame climb its way up my throat It unhinges my jaw Frees my hidden sobs Stinging tears decorate my face like raindrops on a car window And I have never felt so scared I run to the bathroom Knees pulled to my chest like armor I look at my skin Its tanned hue is like a slap in the face A reminder of the truth I tried so hard to deny A truth I never thought would hurt me In the midst of my anguish, I feel a comfort I am alone But the broken whispers of my ancestors are like hands against my back Pushing me forward Running through my veins I hear the echoey words meant just for me “You are strong” I stand up I take each step with a growing understanding What it means to be the first chance born in a family of sacrifice It's because of this that my steps turn to leaps I run unfazed Looking at the golden light of success on the horizon Like melted gold, it swallows my attention whole I am running to success Some days the pain and suffering of my ancestors are too much Written on my skin like warpaint Some days I wish their pain would heal from my body like bruises Fading with time But other times I relish in this burden For it drives me forward full force Every tired smile Every overworked bloody hand Every tear-stained kiss Pushes me forward And I am running to success
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