Ink: For Our Own Good

Liann Acosta Palmers, Poetry

We were never allowed to hang about the corners of the streets
Not even allowed to let it cross our minds
Too scared we would run into the streets and its savage crowd
Or worse
The streets come to us
We were never allowed to ride the train
Not even if we were going with tia
Uno nunca sabe
Too worried we would stumble upon one of the homeless people who spoke to themselves, asked
for money for who knows what, and wobbled rather than walked
Eso es lo que pasa cuando no te pones a estudiar
I come from a place that I call home without warmth
Landlords not knowing how to turn the heat on, preferably on the coldest days
Without peace
News channels reporting the newest shootings, missing people, drug dealings
Without quietness
Secondhand nature to sleep with the sounds of chatter coming from your neighbors who have
nothing better to do except spill their darkest secrets from midnight to dawn
If we dared to let our guard down
Get too comfortable
God forbid what that might bring
Always pay attention to your surroundings
I come from a household where protection was justification for the instillation of fear of the
Es por tu bien hija
Si algo te pasa, no se que voy hacer
Cuando tengas hijos, vas a entender
Today I catch myself trapped in my own head before I head out the door
How can I disguise myself in the crowd?
Too scared to wear the wrong outfit, wear the wrong look, make the wrong movement that could
give the wrong impression
What troubles might I run into?
What corner could be the last?
It is like having to teach myself how to walk all over again
Fresh out of my mothers womb part two