Ursula is the name given to the largest Customs and Border Patrol processing and detention center. It is located in McAllen, Texas; its conditions have been compared to torture facitilies by physicians and social workers.
I’m haunted by their eyes.
—Toby Gialluca, Lawyer
my body in the bathtub—skin prepared
arroz con leche, three cloves. a stone.
pick through the bones //
the rubble and salt of me; murder of
wounds—massacre of rosaries. as the snail
on my back.
¿What did they do to you, sister blackwood,
brother pine? What of your drowned daughters //
babes in cages, tick-bitten spines?
gone and weaponized my body. mi mente criminal.
y calladitos// shhh.
calladitos. // legion of no tongue // y no hay
forma // there is. no way, josé.
O, my mouth—that hungry blister. that
open creature. que duerme la primavera,
but skin be calloused // sweet brown // singing
this hurt. of me.
la piel en canto // himno moreno
circula la herida. dentro de mi.
Kennia Lopez received her MFA in Poetry from Brooklyn College. She is pursuing a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.