“llevamos tres horas aqui! Tenemos niños!”
“You need to STOP.”
As if on cue the children in the line, around 6 or 7 of them, begin to cry;
A grating, unpleasant melody in the early hours of the morning.
That word hangs in the air.
The sound blisters forth from a mouth framed by frown lines
Like my mother’s, I notice.
I look away, I look around, I look anywhere… everywhere.
I’m annoyed and exhausted and nursing a headache.
But I’m waiting patiently, I’m not causing a scene.
I have been waiting for five minutes.
Something scratches at the back of my throat, an unfamiliar uncomfortable feeling,
But I’m too tired for introspection.
So I let it rest.
The Woman doesn’t STOP.
Instead, other voices join in. Soon, the whole line is clamoring for attention.
A man reaches down to calm a crying child, a little girl with a colorful blanket.
I notice the colors: Yellow. Blue. Red.
We were family once, now neighbors with shared history.
This doesn’t stop me from looking away.
¿Quien Eres? A sharp accusation in my head. Who are you?
I don’t respond.
I hover in that strange middle ground of uncertainty.
Do I belong there? Do I belong here?
Behind me, something hungry rears its head.
Instinctively, I wrap my arms around my mother in front of me,
pressing her close to my heart.
Security arrives, hand on gun.
He looms over the Loud Woman, like a ferocious spirit,
Como un Zangano en la noche.
Behind me I can hear the hungry thing laughing.
In an instant the line of people are made silent.
Children are hushed and their gurgling sobs seem too loud for this place.
A smartly dressed woman appears, all smiles, as she apologizes to us for making us wait.
As I look towards the line of anxious people on the right I notice that the policeman is still hovering over The Woman even though she is as silent as a mouse.
She is the same height as my mother.
A tiny thing compared to the menacing mass of the security officer.
It has not been ten minutes but half of us on the left are already gone to our hotels.
The Woman still stands in line, quietly now, save for a quiet hum as she bounces the baby in her arms to sleep—she doesn’t have a baby carriage.
The hungry thing opens it’s mouth and roars!
You should just send those people back to their country!
Murmurs of agreement. Laughter.
White teeth sink into my skin.
I am devoured.