To Those Who Have Lost Everything

This poignant poem written by Francisco X. Alarćon is visceral meditation for a moment where immigrants are facing inhumane and violent treatment along the US Southern border. It is also an important reflection for all of those who remain houseless in this country, a shameful byproduct of our system of land and property ownership.

To Those Who Have Lost Everything
By Francisco X. Alarćon

in despair
many deserts
full of hope

their empty
fists of sorrow

a bitter night
of shovels
and nails

“you’re nothing
you’re shit
your home’s

will speak
for you

will flesh
your bones

green again
among ashes
after a long fire

started in
a fantasy island
some time ago

into aliens

Francisco X. Alarcón, “To Those Who Have Lost Everything” from From the Other Side of Night/Del otro lado de la noche. Copyright © 2002 by Francisco X. Alarcón. Reprinted by the Poetry Foundation with the permission of University of Arizona Press.

Source: From the Other Side of Night/Del otro lado de la noche (University of Arizona Press, 2002)

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