19 Feb

12 year olds


As if the world’s borders ended where Boyle Heights and East LA became


Walking around the beige colored-lunch benches

by the student store

salivating at treats

50¢ I didn’t have

Into the bathroom with the metal reflectors

No glass for us

in East LA

My face a tan brown

lips lined with Jordana honey

hair half pulled back into a tight mean bun

I’m looking at You

Our blindingly white collar polo shirts tucked into our rolled up mini uniform plaid skirts

Trying so desperately to be


To the chain link fence that surrounded the blacktop PE area

our brown fingers grazed that fence as we walked towards the running field

holding on tightly as potholes broke our gait

And I grabbed on and looked out



And while they hollered a “Heeeey!” in response to the high school and above guys dressed in their Chinos, crisp white t-shirts and Nike Cortez, I

faltered. Not wanting a part of it. No desire to be looked at by shaved heads and face tattoos.

But not knowing how to step back and walk away alone.

12 year olds.


As if the world’s borders ended where Boyle Heights and East LA became



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