The New American Gothic by Mario Felix

Filled with pained accomplishment. 

“Por fin, lo logramos.” 

“We made it.” 

“Este sacrificio lo hicimos para ti…” 

And we made it because you made it. 

We made it past -and despite the lecciones machistas de tu padre. 

We made it past the gentle beatings de cucharas, cinturones, and electrical wire. 

(And the brutal beatings of watching my mother cry at the sight of me.) 

We made it past your drug abuse. 

Your alcohol abuse. 


Where are you now? 

I’m here, 

Waking up every day paralyzed, 

Not knowing what to do with my life, 

But how could I know? 

You didn’t teach me what to do with it. 

“You don’t have to survive anymore.” 

i¿Pero entonces que?! 

How could I know what to do with my life when everyonel ask keeps it a fucking secret? 

How could I know when I have friends that don’t know what it’s like to live here, 

And parents who never got a chance to live? 

Why can’t I be happy working at some office? 

Make enough money to buy my parent’s papeles. 

Make enough money to buy my parents’ approval. 

Make enough money to stuff this bank with more money than they’ve already vacuumed out of my neighborhood. 

My parents’ country. 

Your parents’ countries. 

I want to escape! 

I know it’s selfish! 

But for once in my fucking life I want to be the self-centered piece of shit that gets to go home everyday after school and hug both their parents, and talk endlessly about how much I hate them. 

Even though they love me with all their heart. 

Even though they haven’t laid a single hand on me. 

Even though they can help me with my homework, take me to the park, buy me whatever stupid thing is on TV.. 

Even though they gave me their entire world.

Even though the world is sinking into an abyss deeper than the fall of other children’s hearts 

when you bomb their villages, towns, and cities, 

Kill their parents, friends and teachers, 

Poison their food, water and trees. 

Just once I want to be American. 

Mario Felix (he/him) is a Latine singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, teacher and -from time to time- poet. Mario’s poetry centers on his own experiences with love/heartbreak, depression, flowers, food, being the son of a migrant, and random words that sound good together. His newfound goal in life is to become famous enough to meet his idol Mon Laferte.

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