What the Alien Tried Saying in a Language He Does Not Speak

Lately, I am walking backwards
into myself. Lately, I am unspoken.

Or, nepantla spoken
backwards is liberation.

Or, the American territories
around my tongue are bordered
with resistance.

Or, resistance is not letting anyone
inside because resistance is a burning.

Or, this is another way
of saying forced
entry, another tongue
for memory.

Or, my abuela’s lengua
is the result of someone else’s violence.

Or, violence traces the emptiness
bodying my mouth.

Or, the slow curl of a Q,
the upside down question
mark before ñ.

Or, the marks
of alphabets scarring
thin air, the break-
down of lips being unsplit.

Or, breaking traditions.

Or, on the day I asked a traditional
machista what he believed
about bullet-pointed
honesty, he answered:

Or, maybe I should’ve asked him
if he’s ever stopped at the end
of a bullet’s point. If bullets
stop when they meet
the mouth. If we have learned
how to unswallow our own songs.

Or, maybe I need more practice
on how to untether myself
from myself. On how to spit out my own
definitions. On how to speak in a body
unbroken by borders.