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To Live in the Borderlands Means You…

August 22, 2009

Reprinted from Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. Copyright I987 by Gloria Anzaldua

To live in the Borderlands means you

are neither hispana india negra espanola ni gabacha, eres mestiza, mulata, half-breed caught in the crossfire between camps while carrying all five races on your back not knowing which side to turn to, run from;

To live in the Borderlands means knowing that the india in you, betrayed for Soo years, is no longer speaking to you, that mexicanas call you rajetas, that denying the Anglo inside you is as bad as having denied the Indian or Black;

Cuando vives en la frontera

people walk through you, the wind steals your voice, you’re a burra, buey, scapegoat, forerunner of a new race, half and half-both woman and man, neithera new gender;

To live in the Borderlands means to put chile in the borscht, eat whole wheat tortillas, speak Tex-Mex with a Brooklyn accent; be stopped by la migra at the border checkpoints;

Living in the Borderlands means you fight hard to resist the gold elixir beckoning from the bottle, the pull of the gun barrel, the rope crushing the hollow of your throat;

In the Borderlands you are the battleground where enemies are kin to each other; you are at home, a stranger, the border disputes have been settled the volley of shots have shattered the truce you are wounded, lost in action dead, fighting back;

To live in the Borderlands means the mill with the razor white teeth wants to shred off your olive-red skin, crush out the kernel, your heart pound you pinch you roll you out smelling like white bread but dead;

To survive the Borderlands you must live sin fronteras be a crossroads.

Reprinted from Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. Copyright I987 by Gloria Anzaldua

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2009 12:34 pm

    I love this, mucho.

    Barbara

  2. Rosa Ortega Rodriguez permalink
    January 6, 2011 9:11 pm

    Great Read!!!

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