love letter from the border

love letter from the border

The river is our mother the border is a real place. No border wall. Emmy Perez, 2008 border wall demonstration.

I’m a writer that doesn’t quite know how to express the rage, hurt and daily violence that the border wall has created for those of us who live in this border culture. Here, we all have our stories of when we noticed the subtle militarized occupancy that has happened to our borderlands. For me it was a few years ago, driving my kids to school and seeing the border patrol stopping a car on Military Highway in Donna, right in front of their elementary school. The children stood in the background.

The border wall ruins and continues to ruin the ecosystems of our borderlands. But it does more than disrupts the fauna and flora of our environments.

We, the community, are part of these ecosystems. We, the community, co-exist with these lands and find solace in the protected sanctuaries that are left.

The border wall damages these lands, puts our protected lands in jeopardy but also damages our psyche, our spirits.

These protected lands serve as reminders of what our borderlands looked like before borders, much like my abuela told me of crossing those lines while tending goats or other animals as there was no division then.

Building a “bigger, beautiful wall” will have catastrophic consequences to the wildlife along the entire border, not to mention the potential disasters of flooding. Plants and animals on the endangered list and more than 2 dozen on Texas’s threatened list will be affected further if the border wall expands. These current barriers affect more than 70% of our wildlife refuges here in the Rio Grande Valley. We are also home to the last ocelots in the US.

All the damage to these lands hurt us, the community, in our homes and in the way we operate our daily lives, in the ways we are able to mourn our dead and revisit those that have passed. In the ways we love and in the ways we make love.  In the ways we communicate, make art or remain silent. In the ways we learn and the ways we are educated, in the ways we dress and in the ways we protect ourselves and each other.

We co-exist and find healing in our lands. Being able to revisit these snapshots of what our lands looked like hundreds of years ago lets us realize our facultades. Visit our Sal del Rey or find yourself among some of our trees, hiding from the sun and some might understand the way our spirits/hearts are rooted in these lands and why we hurt, individually and collectively as a community, because of the border wall.

radical queer crip love,



Thanks to the readers and volunteers who answered late night questions about content, intent and images for this issue. Special thanks to Aaminah Shakur. Thanks to  River and Winter who gave their artistic opinion on choice, color and design on the backgrounds and images for this issue. Thanks to Emmy Perez for the dialogue as I thought on and worked on this issue.

Thanks to those who donated to be able to gift a small honorarium to our writers and poets. Please consider making a donation to be able to do this for future issues.