In America

They ask me
What’s it like being a brown woman in America?
I want to say
It’s like screaming in a dream
And expecting a reaction.

They ask me
What’s it like being an immigrant in America?
I want to say
It’s like wearing perfume
And everyone is allergic.

They ask me
What’s it like praying for change in America?
I want to say
It’s like pressing your ear to the dirt
and hoping to hear the sea.

 
 

María Isabel Alvarez was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala and is currently an MFA Candidate in fiction at Arizona State University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gulf CoastBlack Warrior ReviewSonora ReviewArts & Letters, and Storyscape Journal, among other publications. Follow her on Twitter: @maria_i_alvarez.