Joaquin Luna: the Death of a DREAM (poetry)

By Abraham Medina

Abraham Medina, graduated in 2011 from UCI with a bachelors in Sociology, has interned for UFCW 324 and OCLF, been involved with El Centro Cultural de Mexico in Santa Ana, the Orange County Dream Team, and the community mural collective SAPO.


My name is Joaquin Luna, I am undocumented of course,

This is my story, but it can really be yours,

I was brought here before I could walk on all fours,

Did my best in school, my best at home with all of my chores,


My father left, my mother became a migrant worker,

Sometimes I wish he could have stayed a while longer,

Things haven’t changed much, I haven’t forgotten,

The scratches on my arms from picking the cotton,


My mother wanted a better life for me,

But little has changed here since slavery,

Little has changed since colonialism,

Black and brown bodies are still being captured and enslaved in prison,


Hated by society, on TV, out in the field,

I find myself wishing nothing was real,

They call me, “wetback”, “illegal”, I don’t know why,

God, I can’t help feeling that I wana die,


If I have children, they will call them “anchor babies”,

Minutemen on the border treat us like dogs with rabies,

They said things would change with Obama,

But things got worse from Arizona to Alabama,


God, I just wanted to be treated like a human being,

Was it too much to ask for such a thing?

I can’t drive without fearing cops will pull me over,

Can’t go to work without fearing ICE raids, my life is over…


Trying to overcome my deep depression,

I devoted myself to focus on my education,

Studied hard, tried hard all of the time,

But my status and fear were always at the back of my mind,


Was accepted to a university,

My family was proud I made it through adversity,

Maybe I should stay to fight, overcome the fright,

Cuz education is not a privilege, it’s a human right,


But there’s no hope, no pathway, no way to fix this,

I gave thanks today but I won’t be home for Christmas,

I had dreams and aspirations,

But there’s no way to fix my situation,

People like me are being hunted down all across the nation,


My mother told me, “Mijo, keep hoping things get better,”

But God, I don’t want to end up in a detention center,

I’m only 18 but I know I’ll go to a better place,

Where no one cares about my papers or about my race,


I’m sorry for my mistakes and things that I regret,

All I wanted was to grow up to be an architect,

All I wanted, was to be a Civil Engineer,

But I saw the end was coming near,


I keep thinking of all the people that I’ll miss,

But I refuse to live in a society like this,

I ate dinner, said my prayer, put on my favorite shirt and tie,

Making sure I said goodbye to my mother, before I die,


Mother I love you, I hope you can forgive me,

I’m not happy here, I’m feeling empty,

Mama, I love you, you were my idol,

I hope you find them, I stuffed a few letters in my Bible,


Time is ticking, I feel the world diminish,

Called my brother, said, “My road is finished,”

“Brother, this is the day…”

“That I’m going away…”


I locked the door, perhaps only Angels staring,

You don’t need papers to get to Heaven,

I’ll be there soon, the bullet will set the tempo,

There, I will become a Civil Engineer and construct a temple,


Mother I’m sorry, I can’t take, all the hate,

My heart races, as I press the barrel of the thirty-eight,

Nothing’s familiar, here I’m just a filthy stranger,

Everything around me is cold like the barrel and this twisted chamber,


I feel the rain upon me, I feel the thunder,

The pain inflicted by my hunger,

Death is brief and life is not much longer…


All will end once I pull the stainless,

A fair tradeoff, a whole life, for a moment of painlessness,


I pull the trigger but I do not hear a gunshot,

Instead I hear my mother’s voice,

My brother, my sister,

And through all the commotion and screams,

A whisper,

“This is the death of all of my DREAMS…”


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