• Palabras Con Alas

ID ~by David Quiroz


I felt traffic in my head,

and the exhaustion in his fingers like

he’d been laying brick

for eight hours straight.

Which he was.

I didn’t ask for this,

a song I had created

in my head




on repeat

And the embarrassment I felt at the

Mexican Consulate sometime before


and while my friends were

getting in line at the DMV, excited

for driver’s permits and identifications,

I was told:

You have no business here.


I made an appointment to

see a Mexican official

months in advance—

but the man spoke Spanish.

I tried my best to decipher the

puzzle of words the man spewed,

but his sentences laughed at me instead

—The way people laugh after a mean joke—

Years of speaking

Spanglish instead of

proper jargon

was the real joke.

I felt like a horse without water

like flowers with no rain in sight




—What’s a word I can use to describe: I didn’t

belong there, but that’s also where I belonged? That’s how I felt


He reached out from his tiny box,

handed me the receipt,

and my newly printed “government” ID

—With the Mexican seal glossing

across the meretricious card,

but I didn’t feel like a star—

I felt traffic in my head,

and I went back to work

with my dad.

He picked

me up on 6th street.

He was playing K-Love.

—“I didn’t ask for this”

on repeat—

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