Posted Mar 18 2006

Guest writer Ixta Menchaca is a 23-year-old poet, animal-lover, and activist. Raised in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, she is a 2002 graduate of the University of Michigan and is currently working in a U-M student affairs office dedicated to promoting social justice. She hopes to get her MFA in creative writing and bring a little justice and flavor to the world with her writing.

As I run, images of Ixta
my people -la raza-
flood my mind;
sweat and vapor
cloud the air behind me.

Shards of glass and rock
bejewel the concrete,
ice-crunch under my soles;
asphalt of the street
an infinite path of
obsidian crystals.

Just between the wind
and my stride
are memories of suffering.

A girl sprints;
her mother cries out
to keep running,
running past the floating gardens
(orchids and hydrangeas trampled),
past the market
(vegetables and clay pots overturned);
run past everything until
you no longer hear the dogs,
the men;
smell the smoke.

Heart thick with fear.
Blood gone cold;
fingertips tingling as if
pricked by quills.

An old man hobbles
behind the mesquite tree,
craggy nails scraping bark.
He gasps between broken prayers?
Virgen, let the Rangers ride past;
let them forget about
hanging another man


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