Mile 2.2 by Heaven Malone
Letter to the Lady in the Frozen Shirt
Dear Ms. (probably something Mexican sounding),
I just want to express my regrets that my government decided to tear gas you and your babies at the border. So not the Statue of Liberty, right? Anyway, I was really bummed out to see you scrambling in pain and dragging those two darling kids along with you. So cute, and they walked like, what? 2000ish miles! Honestly, I struggle to get my kids to take out the garbage! The truth is, if we had not terrorized you, and let you into the country—I honestly could have used your help. I’m working like sixty hours a week, and could so use some domestic help—especially, you know, at entry level wages (or just below, given that you would not be here as a “legal”—I hate that term. I could, really, just see how great it would have been. You would basically have raised my own children—while cooking, and doing light housework—ironing, laundry, dusting, bathrooms, etc. After a while, we would think of you as family, sort of. Your two awesome kids would be such a great example for my spoiled little things. I would be all, “Do you think Tito and Consuela waste food like that?” As they grew older, and graduated from high school, I totally would have gotten them both gift certificates for Texas Roadhouse. Sadly, after about fifteen years, I would have had to fire you for moving my papers around. Really, after fifteen years you couldn’t figure out not to move my papers around? Anyway, I didn’t want you to think we are all the “tear-gassy” type. I would have loved to have met you and grown close enough to almost not fire you even though you never learned to stop moving my papers around.
A Super Nice American—Really!
This “letter poem” is a reflection on Maria Lila Meza Castro—the woman photographed at the border running with her twin daughters from tear gas launched by heavily armored American Border Agents. Misinformation such as her name, and the sex of her daughters is intended to convey the cluelessness of the persona behind the text.