* — September 5, 2016
flattop341, 2007

I’ve felt guilty for not speaking Spanish with you
when you came here: Oh, el niñito bien gringo se cree
ya ¿veá?
You’ve never said that. You should’ve

    when you picked me up from school. I pretended
    not to know you. No inglish. I laughed with friends
    when we called you wetback. At the apartment,


    I went out to play “soccer” without explaining how
    to change the channel to Univision. I don’t know
    what was wrong with me then. Perdoname. Perhaps,


    you don’t remember, perhaps, you’ve forgiven me.
    We’ve never talked about this. Of those years, when
    mom left, we don’t talk. Let’s go back to kindergarten


    when you taught me this tongue twister: tengo una tía
    cajonera que hace cajas y calajas y cajitas y cajones. Y al
    tirar de los cordones salen cajas y calajas y cajitas y cajones.


Originally published in No Tokens Issue No. 4. View full issue & more.

Javier Zamora was born in El Salvador and migrated to the US when he was nine. He is a 2016-2018 Wallace Stegner Fellow and holds fellowships from CantoMundo, Colgate University, MacDowell, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Yaddo. The recipient of a 2016 Ruth Lilly/Dorothy Sargent Fellowship and the 2016 Barnes and Noble Writer for Writer’s Award, his first poetry collection Unaccompanied is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press Fall 2017.