A Love Letter to the Border

This is for the border,
Where at night the bridge and fence disappear,
into a sea of lights;
sister cities melted into one.
My home, my culture, and my family.
This is for El Paso,
El Chuco,
A place that makes being Mexican and American
The norm,
Not a contradiction.
Dotted with colorful murals,
It is proud of who she is, and what she stands for.
Unity, and duality.
This is for Juarez,
The motherland of my ancestors,
Filled with hardworking people who cross the bridge everyday
To work and to learn.
This is for my abuela
Who came to the border for a chance of a better life,
Proving that nothing can stand in the way of a dreamer.
This is for undocumented immigrants,
Who cross with swollen feet, leaving everything behind.
With a courage so strong and powerful.
This is for segundo barrio,
Where the elders sit on their porch telling stories of the Mexican revolution,
And the streets on Sundays are filled with the smell of menudo.
This is for the desert,
Adorned with ocotillo and known for its sunsets.
Painting the sky in hues of yellow and pink.
I have blossomed like the resilient cacti of this land,
Retaining every drop of sustenance and making the most of every rainfall of opportunity.
This is for my comadres
Who taught me everything I know,
From how to make tortillas de nixtamal to how to conquer my fears.
This is for la raza,
Who rise up against all injustice, fight with ganas, and make me proud to be a xicana.

This is the border,
For being my muse, my first love, and my home.

By Samantha Ortega