Lantern Review {Community Voices}

Issue 3 | Summer 2011

home. Because there are still
animals like the Saola that, when forced
behind walls, would prefer death. Because
I’ve read about the Native American man
who, the last of his tribe, refused to give
his name to the white remains
of humanity. Because indigenous peoples
are closer to the land & its spirits,
& in being so are closer to one
another no matter where they are
in the world. Because SB 1070 is hate
manifested on paper in words. Because I
believed for too long that I couldn’t do anything
about anything. Because a girl named Rosa
once kissed my cheek. Because I have not forgotten
what it means to “love thy neighbor.” Because
my cousin, Virus, never acquired
citizenship, was convicted of manslaughter
after a gang fight, spent six years in
an Arizona prison, & is on parole release
pending deportation once US-Laos relations improve.
Because no one stood up for my people
when they needed the help. Because the Hmong,
running for their lives in the jungles of Laos,
still need help. Because America
fucked things up in Vietnam, The Secret War,
the Middle East, & is desperate to prove
it knows how to finish something.

* Originally published to La Bloga (May 17, 2011).