Are you an immigrant, asks my son’s teacher
when I drop him off. Perhaps I seem
a little harsh, I walk too quickly,
my teeth aren’t right.
He pushes and shoves, he can’t
keep his hands to himself.
Around here, we teach kids
how to stay safe.
To her, I wear a sign that says:
I don’t teach my child how to be
safe, we immigrants aren’t properly
concerned with safety.
This explains why we choose
dangerous boat rides, get bolted up
in trucks, endure crimes, our most
intimate borders crossed.
My son’s small torso
feels like a cage. Inside it
a stirring of a sob, then—shards of