from Huizache #6

Este Puño/Dispatches from Barbed Wire

Abigail Carl-Klassen

They still built the wall. Even though we marched downtown,
jackets and ties peering down from high rises as we shouted,
¡Muro, no. Pueblo sí! After we shut down Paisano, horns
pressed, sage smoke rising, matachines barefoot and rattling.
After we sipped sangre de Cristo through chain links year
after year on Día de los Muertos. After our mayors declared,
¡Ya basta! San Diego to Brownsville. After amas pushed
strollers from Douglas to San Elizario. After comadres
from Mujer Obrera, striking hungry, cuffed themselves to
the Whitehouse gates and chanted, ¡Obama, escucha, estamos
en la lucha! After Red Fronteriza. Hands across the Border.
Vía Campesina. Centro Sin Fronteras. Las Américas. Project
Vida. Annunciation House. Border Interfaith. No More Deaths.
DMRS. MEChA. ACLU. Paso Del Norte Civil Rights Center.
Café Mayapan. UTEP Feminists. Unitarians. Low-Rider Kings.
Danza Azteca. Aoy, Guillen and Bowie. Committee for Labor
Justice. The Brown Berets. And even The Sierra Club. Got
together. After every editorial, town hall meeting and referendum.
After every interview on public television and radio. After every
headline splashed across The El Paso Times and El Diario.
After every deposition. Every panel. Every conference. Every
prayer service, rosary and candle. Every documentary filmed
and screened. Every art show and open mic. After every Libro-
traficante underground library and rally. After every fundraising
plato de enchiladas, gorditas, tamales y pozole. After every
direct action. No rocks, just crosses painted with the names
of the fallen. After every Know Your Rights presentation. After
every housing, tutoring and counseling referral. After every
letter trashed by every congressman and senator. Except for
Beto, who stood in the center of the Bridge of the Americas,
sporting his The Border Makes America Great trucker cap.
After every Donald Trump piñata was bought and smashed.
After the curandera told us through barbed wire that lucha is
not just protest but also pachanga. After the afternoon
we decided to play volleyball, protestors turned into pick-up
teams on each side of the border. The fence, our net. Ball
lofting, quiet taps. Save the occasional spike and slide in the
sand, laughing above the migra’s megaphone behind us. Cease
and desist. We’re still here. In protest. In pachanga. Fists raised.


Abigail Carl-Klassen’s work has appeared in Cimarron Review, Guernica, Aster(ix), and Post Road, among others. Her poetry has been anthologized in New Border Voices as well as Goodbye, Mexico, and is forthcoming in Imaniman: Anzaldúa Poetic Anthology. She has taught at El Paso Community College and UTEP, in El Paso community development and public schools.

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