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A New Colossus

A Celebration of Our America

Colossus

The wind slapped us. Our jackets laughed
at the frost forming in our chests. At night,
we rubbed & rubbed to melt it, but
there was nothing there. We inched north
in our boat, so small not even the ocean
could feel us in her hand. Fish leapt onboard
yelling ¡You’ll never make it there wetbacks!
They hit us in the head. We hit them with our shoes.
The sun was out. One of us yelled, ¡Stop!
We could see the fish glow in the gasoline trail.
Behind that man, we formed a line to take turns
holding port & starboard, pants down,
to shit on their faces. ¡Cabrón! I’m trying to say
the ocean was cold, I don’t remember
what the Federales said.

    • Listen: Javier Zamora reciting Colossus

Javier Zamora

Javier Zamora was born in El Salvador and migrated to the US when he was nine. He is a 2016-2018 Wallace Stegner Fellow and holds fellowships from CantoMundo ...