My “Crime” (poetry)

By Aurea Martinez

Chile, India, Brazil, El Salvador and for me Mexico.
My “crime” was to be born in another country, to not take my first breath of air in the land of the
free and the home of the brave.
For my first shrieks were not heard by the Statue of Liberty but by my Mexican mother.
My first words were not said in English but in Spanish…a colonized language that has never
belonged to my ancestors.
My name and identity is not tied down to a nine digit number yet I still deserved to be treated
with respect and dignity.

I am still a human.

My mother carried me on her back, a baby fast asleep. In our first attempt to come to this grand
country, immigration patrol detained us and took us to jail.
I a 2 year old baby and my mother a young women at the age of 21 were locked behind bars.
We were already being criminalized for trying to pursue the American Dream.

In our second attempt we managed to successfully cross the border and from then on this country
has been all that I have known. I will never ever blame my parents for their decision. They are
my heroes.

I am still a human.

Wetback, illegal, criminal, dirty Mexican those words roll down the tongue so easily but stab like
a dagger straight into my heart.
I’ve heard sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me- to whoever wrote
that rhyme let me tell you- it does hurt. It does not leave physical scars but fucks you mentally
and for me that’s the worst.

I am still a human.

I am not what the media portrays me to be.
I am not a threat. I will not harm you BUT I am no longer afraid.
I am no longer enslaved to those words because I know now the truth of my reality.
I have been freed because I am the one that can free my mind and my soul.

I am still a human.

I am like you, you, you and you.
I cry when I’m in pain. I smile when I’m happy.
I laugh when things are funny.
But most of all I have a heart that beats and knows how to love

I am still a human.

I have learned that labels will not hold me back and I will succeed.
Despite your xenophobia. Get the facts straight.
My ancestors walked on this land thousands of years before, I am not the intruder here.
Physical borders have been created to separate two countries that share so much history.
However, it is up to us to destroy those borders and denounce the atrocities that are being
committed upon our people.

I am still a human.

I am a hero. I am not your typical mask wearing, cape hanging around my neck, nor can I read
minds or create storms. I am a hero in my own way in that everyday I’m trying to survive
amongst these institutions that were never cre


2 Responses to “My “Crime” (poetry)”
  1. Martha says:

    Very well said. I think you speak for all the undocumented youth with your poetry. You just explained my life story right here. kudos to you.

  2. Mariel cabrera says:


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