Fall 2022: Imagining America poem “Migrating Scars”


Migrating Scars


My scars tell a story of forever arriving

They are the lessons learned, they remind me where I am going

…how I move matters.

My bones see differently now

Before me, drunk mother climbing mango trees; what could’ve been an avoidable encounter.




My scars tell the story of resiliency, they remind me where I come from, the inheritance of immigrant labor

My scars tell stories of metal and bricks, shredding, shedding, erasing, transforming, they are laughable, they are brave.

Truth tears, share it, see it, feel it, know it

They remember what gets forgotten, of family and friends…

My father’s tomorrows filled with promise, they are bright…they are textured


A deep reality, claiming, I too can eat mangoes

My scars tell the story of wrinkled cigars, they are deep

Trans enough


My scars tell stories of youth and risk, seemingly preventable, bottled up in bottles of Brugal & Mamajuana with something that was too hot

too edgy, my scars are a sign of haste and hurrying, sign of permanence that came out of a moment where blood and breath and fascia and bone…

My scars tell the stories of brokenness that rushing resulted in.




Into experiences and endeavors I was comfortable acting in ways I thought were harmless.

My chest breathes differently now; tired, weary, promise, and loss

moments when I experienced


They are reminders of resilience

They remind me where I have been.


Poets: Sharieka Botex, Jose Cotto, Katinka Hooyer, EG Gionfriddo, Yoleidy Rosario-Hernandez