every poem i write is about the same grief: how ordinary it is to want the American dream. i don’t know what Gomez has been through but i can taste it. today, i made posho because i wanted to avoid the actual conditions of my life. along the borders of my bed, i plant a field of green cards, sunflowers thirsting into golden lilies on a white satin field. this is how the beginning sounds: outside my mother’s bedroom, the body of a young woman lay bleeding on the ground, shot in the head. this country calls her body a haram & it will kill to prove it. i look toward the Rio Grande: a fire & an awful mouth. the soil here is soaked with blood— the authorities can only twist the truth but they can’t remove the wreckage from their faces.


          what does it mean to miscarry a moon into a wrong country’s night?            how much ruin can we drag through time?

how much ash should fill a bed before it becomes a stain on our  collective conscience?

last night, i saw Gomez’s Mamita: an old anxious sea glazed in fine reddust. what she holds grows weight— the unbearable atmosphere ofmemory. i am touched— i am. & i wish to be untethered from this waveof moonlight riding through the dusked rails of her arms.


lately, i settle for a cup of kindness instead of a country.

Gomez Gonzalez’s shooting in May 2018 drew international attention after a bystander posted a Facebook video of the aftermath, showing her lying on the ground, bleeding. This poem urges the authorities to respect the rights of their citizens, especially their right to live, regardless of their immigration status.

“She came to the US for a better life. Shortly after her arrival, she was killed” by Nicole Chavez, CNN

“Body of Woman Shot by US Border Agent Returns to Guatemala” by TIME

“Claudia Gómez González Wasn’t Killed by a Rogue Border Agent—She Was Killed by a Rogue Agency” by Daniel Altschuler and Natalia Aristizabal, The Nation

Top photo: “Mexico-US border at Tijuana” © Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

“What if we took all this anger born of righteous love and aimed it?”

—Ijeoma Olou, “We women can be anything. But can we be angry?” Medium.com

ANGER showcases essays and poetry featuring well-aimed anger from femme writers, writers of color, LGBTQIA+ writers, First Nations writers, and disabled writers.