By Kimberly K. Williams
Re-Learning the Alphabet: DNA y DACA
I toss our DNA
into the blue metal box
like I am tossing in a bill.
It doesn’t seem right, adding
a plastic bag containing two vials of cheek
cells to birthday cards and utility
payments just to see where I’m ‘from.’
This is my DNA—my very core, I want to
say, handle with care. But the United
States Postal Service, like most things
run by the U.S. government, is here
to remind you that there’s nothing
special about you. We are too
many humans past caring. You don’t
count. And someone with DNA
like mine (so fair!) and a family story (like
mine) three generations distant from
Ellis Island will be glad to send you ‘home.’
Even if you were raised here. Even if
you went to elementary school at the age of six
and suddenly discovered English in your mouth.
Even if you used these unexpected sounds
to construct bridges between your parents
and your grandparents and the country
you were raised in. Even once you became used
to these sounds and they became part of you, you
ascertained along the way that your DNA holds
no value, that all along you’d been using the wrong
words, that they were as effective as $800 and hand-printed
answers on a long form. You count as much as one more
bill in the mailbox, even though you’ve already paid.
To prove the fatness that three slim generations have
gained, we’re going to reveal that we’ve had our fingers
crossed behind our backs for decades. We’re going
to stamp return to sender across your shoulders,
face you south and, whether or not your DNA even
formed there, and whether or not there’s a stupid wall
blocking your exit, you’ll have to move along.
We’re so pleased to send you ‘home’--
© Kimberly Williams
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Kimberly has been fortunate to travel to half the Spanish-speaking countries in the world by the time she was forty. As a traveler into different cultures, she has learned to listen ask questions, and seek points of connections. This page is meant to offer different points of connections between writers, words, ideas, languages, and imaginations. Thank you for visiting.