from “Popular Culture & Cruel Work”
For Chinga La Migra If a woman illegally crossing The U.S.-Mexico border can sing The Border Patrol agent’s favorite Selena song, will he still detain her? What if he does & later writes about Her in the patrol vehicle’s back seat Singing his favorite Selena song? Will the Selena fans who read his book Like it? What if that scene in Reservoir Dogs where Mr. Blonde tortures a cop had Been choreographed to "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom," instead of "Stuck in the Middle With You?" Would the Border Patrol agent Be more or less likely to like that scene?
Copyright © 2018 by Wendy Trevino. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 13, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“This poem is one in a series of sonnets on borders, racism, and social domination. It is critical of ex-Border Patrol agent Francisco Cantú’s memoir, The Line Becomes a River, and the particular tendency of liberal memoirs to humanize structurally racist institutions like the U.S. Border Patrol. Institutions that position individuals to reinforce racial hierarchy will always be inhumane, regardless of the individuals who work for them. Comrades in Austin, New York, and the Bay Area shut down speaking events associated with the release of the memoir in February 2018, and this poem was written in solidarity with those direct actions.”
Wendy Trevino is the author of Cruel Fiction (Commune Editions, 2018).
Date Published: 2018-12-13
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/popular-culture-cruel-work