8 – 9 – Border is not just a word

By Luis – (translated from Spanish by Veronica Eldredge)


Border is not said, it is felt: imaginary line separating
past from future, childhood from promises.

Boundary between “I was” and “will be”, modern artifice:

policemen, trained dogs, surveillance cameras, face recognition

technology and walls crowned with metal thorns.

Border is not said, it hurts: political division that breaks

the “you and I” from “us”.

(In the Tojolabal language, in Chiapas, there is no difference

between “I” or “We”, nor the concepts “I” or “Mine”.

It is not what I want but what We, as a community, need).

Going away and seeing departure are not the same, a knife

does not wield from the blade, absence
fills the house one day before farewell.

Those who remain watch their lives split in two,

they live engulfed by memories and objects evoking memories.

The ones who stay sometimes hear the voices of those

who migrated, silence and abandonment are seated at the table.

Everything changed. Migration has no return.

Border is never said easily, it conjugates: a verb or a cage divides

“we are” from “nothingness”, the drowned dead from those

killed by a bullet. Migration has no cure.

Frontera is not said, it is crossed: everything is imagination, epic and

romanticism, except for those who walked there and who arrived

no further. Migration has no solution.

(One night, a girl asks her father: “Dad, ¿when will we stop
being migrants?” And in the beautiful dark sky, stars shining silently,

with indifference).

Butterflies migrated, magic and fluttering were converted,

through hypnosis, into dream, then nightmare: Americage.

They tied their wings with wire (so they could not return)

convinced them of not being butterflies with flight of fire

and inner sun
that come and go
go and come


We crossed other limits: Butterfly who flies no more,

crawls through shadows under darkness.

Migrant butterflies, exiled, without wings, transformed into

other animals, rodents working arduously in the name of the Empire.


Our tongue is connected to our heart, we say because we feel:

we miss you, we love you, we ask you to return to your land.

We are waiting for you.

Call us if one day you come back on your own,

or they kick you out, one day whether voluntarily

or deported, if one day you return in life

and not in death.

Return to your land before they –yes, the very same–

cut down our last tree, before they polluted our last river

before your whole family has been murdered.

Come back before the American dream converts you into

a different being, soulless, denatured, before their corporations

destroy our one home or steal and invade y/our land.

Did you hear us? Did you forget about us?

Do you still recognize us?

Will you… ?

Border is not a word: it is a two-way absence, a void,

a many-headed monster, capitalist hydra: destiny, anesthesia, fiction.

Frontera is not a word: it is lies, plague, corruption, pain

within pain, it is fear, torture, rape, despair, fever, skulls, disdain, it is plunder,

racism, deep shame, amputated limbs and corpses under the desert sun of women,

men and children who never returned to see their Mother again.

Migration today has no return no solution no cure.

We must unravel the migrant plot: postmigrate, retrace the path,

dismantle their business, un-migrate, set our own limits,
undo the knots and the wrongs, decolonize us, fly again,

come back home, resist, save ourselves.

(In the Sonoran Desert, long before there was a border, tribal members

of the Tohono Oʼodham Nation traveled back and forth to visit their family,

migrating with the seasons from their homes in the valleys to their cooler

mountain dwellings. They state “wall” does not exist in their language).

Border is another device of logic, it structures relationships of domination,

it is the last step that normalizes a neocolonial fiction: the North as

the only destination because we, in the South,
are nothing,
no one.

Border is not just a wall. (It is a veil that numbs and conceals the truth).

Frontera is not just a word. (It is one of the defense weapons of the Empire

that destroys other horizons of meaning). Border will be a word that we

barely remember one day.

Contact Luis :  saeta.ah@cryptolab.net