November 8, 2017

I left Arizona with a bag full of grass, a poem and the feeling the water likes to laugh but sometimes it can't.

By Viola Arduini
Patagonia, AZ
October 20, 2017

Seven things I learnt in Patagonia: 

1. The border is a scary place. Border Patrol vehicles run constantly in the area, making you feel unwelcome and doubtful of your rights. Some of the officers say "Hi", or waive to you, they are just human beings. The problem is not them;

2. You can hear music coming from the Mexican side of Nogales. The border cannot stop it. It is pretty good music;

3. An urge of piercing through the steal barrier gets you, just because it feels so soaked in non-sense;

4. Maybe water wants to laugh. That's all. You can use rocks to help her, that's what the Borderland Restoration crew taught us; 

5. Never leave an apple in the backpack. At least if you don't want to share it with grasshoppers, lots of them;

6. Somehow Southern Arizona has the most beautiful grass, tall and golden, brushing in the wind;

    7. German gave us 
    a poem on the border and I want to share with you all;

    The border: A Double Sonnet by Alberto Rios 

    The border is a line that birds cannot see. 
    The border is a beautiful piece of paper folded carelessly in half.
    The border is where flint first met steel, starting a century of fires.
    The border is a belt that is too tight, holding things up but making it hard to breathe.
    The border is a rusted hinge that does not bend.
    The border is the blood clot in the river’s vein.
    The border says stop to the wind, but the wind speaks another language, and keeps going.
    The border is a brand, the “Double-X” of barbed wire scarred into the skin of so many.
    The border has always been a welcome stopping place but is now a stop sign, always red.
    The border is a jump rope still there even after the game is finished.
    The border is a real crack in an imaginary dam.
    The border used to be an actual place, but now, it is the act of a thousand imaginations.
    The border, the word border, sounds like order, but in this place they do not rhyme.
    The border is a handshake that becomes a squeezing contest. 

    The border smells like cars at noon and wood smoke in the evening. 
     The border is the place between the two pages in a book where the spine is bent too far.
    The border is two men in love with the same woman.
    The border is an equation in search of an equals sign.
    The border is the location of the factory where lightning and thunder are made.
    The border is “NoNoThe Clown, who can’t make anyone laugh.
    The border is a locked door that has been promoted.
    The border is a moat but without a castle on either side.
    The border has become Checkpoint Chale.
    The border is a place of plans constantly broken and repaired and broken.
    The border is mighty, but even the parting of the seas created a path, not a barrier.
    The border is a big, neat, clean, clear black line on a map that does not exist.
    The border is the line in new bifocals: below, small things get bigger; above, nothing changes.
    The border is a skunk with a white line down its back.


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