Trauma Letters Online Anthology: Border Crossing by Andrea Lambert

brown plains

photo by Nicola Tolin (unsplash)

Border Crossing

I was born in Los Angeles.

November 2018. The sky is white. My skin is brown. The air dips below freezing at night. I carry my passport and birth certificate in my purse. In case I must prove citizenship. There are checkpoints all over Reno. Those who cannot show the right paperwork in time? Caged.

The only stamp on my passport is a honeymoon in Tulum. 

2005. Despite immaculate paperwork, a Border Guard in Tijuana refuses my return crossing to the United States. With my parents. After attending my father’s friend’s baby shower. In a black velvet floral party dress. Red lipstick. Heels. California summer tan. 

The Guard thinks I am a Mexican prostitute this swinging baby boomer couple picked up for a threesome. Preferring poly fun in their own waterbed stateside. Counterfeit passport for the whore. Fear eclipses multiple levels of ick in lizard brain.

I speak very fast. In unaccented English. Give exact dates and locations for my birth and education. My words spill like water. 

I am a woman of ambiguous heritage. Mixed race. Whether I’m white depends on who you’re talking to.

My words mean nothing to the Border Guard. He does not believe that this plump pink man could possibly be my father. Believes him to be simply a John. 
	
The Guard asks me my father’s birth date. I understand how tenuous my position to white America in stark blazing lights.

“January,” I say. So I can go home. 
Land of the free, my ass.

Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Andrea Lambert

andreaklambert.com

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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