STARVING

BY EUNICE GONZALEZ SIERRA

I ask my mother if she’s hungry,
she responds,
“si.”

We are starving for justice
we have been craving it since before our birth
since then, my mother pulled at my umbilical cord and asked that I fight.

She sung me lullabies saying, 
“M’ija tienes que luchar,”
She warned me about the men
that’ll come in and out of me
only to prove
that they were powerful enough to make me love them,
but could not love me back.
I did not take her warning seriously.

Love.
we’ve disguised patriarchy as love and too many times womxn have become cupid’s martyr.

Patriarchy:
When my father touches my mother’s face
passionately enough,
that she flinches.

Patriarchy:
When a man gives himself the power to touch my best friend
because somehow, somewhere on her skirt said, “I am asking for it,”
and for some reason that mute idea was louder than her screams.

We are starving for justice; we have not been fed yet.
My school said I’d be the architect of my education.
I believed them.
But they gave me a brick, instead of a pencil.
I’ve been building my future with bricks on my back,
and the struggles of my parents in the fields, within me.

My school said, I’d be the architect of my education,
but I still have not been given a pencil.
And instead I’ve become a construction worker
building my future brick by brick
and my goodness, I am tired.
and even so, I am afraid that my home will crumble.

Much like mine, my mother’s fear has always been
not to have enough money to house us.
but she forgets we come from broken homes.

We are starving for justice,
and they have yet to feed us.

My mother picks the strawberries they love so much
the same people who despise “illegals,”
the same people that say this is their land
with their skewed version of history.

She warned me about the people that will pull at my skin,
hard enough to remove the brown on me.
She warned me about the hunger I would feel.
She apologized for this.
This is not her doing.
She is not to blame.

We are starving,
but we will not stop fighting
until we are fed the justice that we deserve.

One day,
my mother will receive a plate
large enough to fill the wounds she’s been left with.