My reader writes, “You are psychotic, paranoid, and delusional.” (in the 200 readers post)

to which I offer Dedicatoria Chicana by Francisco X. Alarcon

to the grief and laughter of my people

rich in their poverty, tender as a prickly pear

flowering songs in the desert:

I shelter in their promise and neglect

gossipy people in windows of houses

odor of the fields, children in doorways,

women bleeding all alone:

my voice argues like a balcony in the barrio

there are so many prisons, so many silences,

so many deaths forbidding my life:

my roots serve me as a pillow

to those who- like me- were born branded,

made strangers in their own soil:

here is a new country, my free verses

(translation by Adrienne Rich with the poet)

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