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Border Crossing

by Amy Watkins

An ice cream vendor in Mexico sells Popsicles to customers on both sides . . .
—Jason Beaubien, “The U.S.-Mexico Border: A Changing Frontier”

  • My friends, there are no borders
  • if there is ice cream changing hands,
  • sweetness passing between steel teeth
  • like the countless migrating birds of North America.
  • There is ice cream passing hand to hand;
  • I think, “The only empire is of ice cream
  • and the countless birds migrating north and south,
  • unstoppable, iridescent.”
  • The only emperor is the emperor of ice cream,
  • melting even the sedentary heart—
  • immovable, incandescent—
  • walled in but not sheltered and not alone.
  • Even the solitary heart can see
  • the dead girls in Tijuana walking
  • through walls—not sheltered, not lonely—
  • crisscrossing the desert in ghostly lines.
  • The dead girls in Tijuana go walking,
  • and what fence stops them?
  • What desert? What sandy line?
  • All the dead belong to all the living.
  • The fence stops a little
  • sweetness from passing. Between steel teeth,
  • the dead whisper to the living:
  • Friends, mis amigos, there are no borders.

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