Being White in Mexico City: 10 Small Airplane Poems

Written between Mexico City and Seattle.

1: La Condesca

I stare before I smile
And I walk after I smile
And I say fuck it before the slander of depression
Squirrels across my memory.
Indescribable birds with tones matching
The rhythm of the docile dog:
Parque Mexico is too quiet.
Or is this just a sense of taste here,
The land where we can float anywhere?

2: San Ángel

Let us begin with a foreground of scratching.
The scalp is as degraded as the corn tortilla,
Almost blue and menacing in its appeal.
Afternoon bloat and stuff.
Gonna drink when no longer encouraged.
Gonna be as principal as my wallet.
Become as bountiful and as slendered.
Become as the plans, the traffic, scattered.


It was the preface to the fable of the female mariachi
That kept me with fork to mouth and eyes on song.
It was later the gasp that hurt the stomach
During attacks from a visiting American Luchador
With tights sharing The Liberty and The Trump.
The flag-bearing fool turned me to terror, for a moment.
When we walked the streets beyond
I dreamed a land of pearls whiter than my own.
And flames in every crevasse.


There was no risk but being turned into death.
There was no risk except in finding nothing.
The breath within or beyond the fumes.
Long roads and more colonias
than my attention or my internal fury.

5: Within Chapultepec

Cricket Palace with the foreground of exception.
An especially exposed experience.
Follow the throng. Follow the throngs.
The moments. The exact places we need.
Youthful program as fucked.
Permanent stasis of this era.
It is less about change and more about knowing.
What ingredients have resulted in this disaster?
The mind as resilience, and then as a panther mural.
A panther dancing and designating.
A trick.


When Damon and the other white person at the table, Kendall, talked about Mexicans being lazy,
And all I could do to hold back was get distracted by my privilege,
It hurt. And it still does.
I often wonder about the steps it takes
To go from ignorant to asshole,
Especially since I have repeated these same cycles
Only now just becoming aware of them.
Turn around and look at the world beyond us, right here.
Could it be that the earthquake would crush the dreams of the haves.
Have nots secretly holding in their lack of prayers for those entitled victims.


Me sobra locura

Me falta tu cuerpo

Me anima la música

  • Viviana Alcohón

Am not damned.
Am not the banquet of the language.
Am not propped up beyond myself.
But am probably damned
And internal probably a hatred toward everything.
Acid dissolve of meditation.
Distraction through yearning for truth.
It always returns to family.
Everything we have is familial.
This solid damnation is also liquid.

Let Kora Mao be the lead from this point.

8: Through the Pyramid of the Sun

It is within the purse that I hold
And the wrongs I’ve committed.
I dream about the impossible.
I dream about recovery.
I dream about Ko and her truth that always is.
And the landscape of totality she always is.
Representation. Bearing. Burdens? Lenses.
My own attempts at reconciliation are unpardonable,
And in this narrative, they forever will be.
Mexico as another link. Another step into directions.
Triangulation leads to seeing Ko’s own strengths
Leads to seeing her own suffering, liberation.
Let that persist into whatever future it can, for it will.
Remembering and knowing my inability to know before,
And forever desiring greatness in myself only, then,
And how spirited, disembodied, the world became,
Still becomes if I dream through existence too often.

9: Musings on 2016

Sanchita meanwhile.
Or meanwhile my mind sequences into a landscape of other tragedies.
Thanks to you, Mexico, for illumination.
The Cricket Castle and thinking of the old one I failed
The one I brought to tryst. Talons. And a serpent. Upon a cactus.
There is so much story and so much disaster.
A disappointment that locks into place.
The gate smashed into a cobblestone surface.
The innuendo and the flesh of reverberation.
The clash of the sprawling space of deadlock.
When there are no answers but in a time that will wheel itself away.

I have cried so much for the mythological resolution to occur and yet it has not.
There is both more in less and less in more throughout the stroke of breathing.
Perhaps the stalest stake will result in the briefest death.
Perhaps my own lack of resolution, a lack of moral accompaniment,
will result in a turbulent stoicism of Thanatos enrichment
and revulsion of the greyest perpetual possible.

Or perhaps we will go on living
Through to the next meanwhile.


Mexico, you are a fantastic world
That eats me alive
And spits me to be reused
Where human becomes animal
And no culture can save me.
But I worship your unity
And believe in its power
As I fuck myself and my identity
And dream of the spurred sour.
Dream of what was written over pulque:
A resolution of asphyxiation.