by Eloisa Amezcua
Eloisa Amezcua’s Mexicamericana becomes both a demarcation and blurring of the line between states, identities, culture, and selves. This meeting-place is investigated in mother/daughter, English/Spanish, citizen/citizen—how these things are seen from outside as separate, but are quite entangled—how a woman finds her way walking with both, whatever the two may be, “furious and alive.” The river does not separate places—it touches both and nourishes both. This collection borrows its epigraph from Alberto Ríos: “The border is a line that birds cannot see.” (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
TEACHING MY MOTHER ENGLISH OVER THE PHONE
I try to explain the difference between pant & pants
why the former isn’t simply one pair
but what the lungs do with fear or excitement
why clothe isn’t a singular noun
but what most do to the body each morning
she calls on a Wednesday needs help
with an assignment for her third English
beginners course where she meets twice a week
her classmates from countries with names beautiful as hers
I try to make the language clear to my mother
as she one day —before my English took hold—
explained to me that I did not in fact make friends
with a girl named Sorry:
but we were on the playground and she hit me, fue accidenté,
y me dijo “I’m sorry” & when someone says I am, yo soy—
that’s not how this works I remind her
when she asks if the plural of dust is dusts
she asks me to conjugate love
I love you love he loves she loved
we loved you have loved I am loving
she wants to know how a word can be both
a thing and an action like war & mistake
although I can’t put into words in Spanish
how I know the difference so I tell her I have to go
and I go & she goes & I haven’t taught her
anything & for that I am sorry to no one but myself
ABOUT THE POET
Eloisa Amezcua is an Arizona native. She is the author of the chapbooks On Not Screaming (Horse Less Press) and Symptoms of Teething, winner of the 2016 Vella Chapbook Prize from Paper Nautilus Press. Eloisa is the founder/editor of The Shallow Ends: A Journal of Poetry. You can find her at www.eloisaamezcua.com.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Sharmon Davidson's "The Traveler's Tale: As the Crow Flies" is mixed media on paper, originally 24x30 inches. See more of her work at her website.
NOMINATIONS & FEATURES & AWARDS
“Watching Underworld, Inc Episode 3: Human Cargo” nominated for a Pushcart (2018).
“Watching Underworld, Inc. Episode 3: Human Cargo" was selected for Best New Poets 2017.
Featured on The Wardrobe via Sundress Publications & guest curator Colleen Abel, June 2018.