Alien Boy Draft

The conversation starts

with the reasons to deport me:


-coming into the country on a bus,

held by a stranger who smuggled babies

for a living


if this one cries, it’s over


but I don’t,

I am enveloped in a blanket

that matches my skin


                              lady is that a melon?


                               No it’s my son,

                              he slid out wearing a jade sheen

                              and the nurses said sorry

                              we can’t scrub it out


It lasted into adulthood


and here I am,

sipping gin on the margins,

putting up my feet in the periphery


The traveling butterflies learn

to land on my toes


They say, with feeling            MIGRATION IS BEAUTIFUL


We are MONARCHS the Heavier the Crown the Higher the Altitude


From up here

I can see balloons

spelling out my alien number —

with these you can search for the spot

where diplomas and certificates

barely cushion my fall.


I still break

in at least seventeen places


oh lord,

the rubbernecking

when strangers start sniffing my blood


it’s green

it’s mint


The news stays to count

all the people

who couldn’t get enough.



Oswaldo Vargas

Oswaldo Vargas is a former farmworker and a 2021 Undocupoets Fellowship recipient. He has been anthologized in Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color and published in Narrative Magazine and American Academy of Poets’ “Poem-A-Day” (among others). He lives and dreams in Sacramento, CA.