Monday, September 26, 2016

Aja Beech


The boy ran until his legs collapsed and drug himself on his belly
into the scrubland. He kept breathing low, like mami taught him
when she held him close on long evenings atop a railcar.

There was still yelling in the distance where the light was strong.
He lay his forehead on folded arms. Dust clouding his face with each breath. He looked
to the left and saw a single shoe for a child smaller than his five years.
Above him, on the spikey leaves of a small canotia,
shredded fabric from a shirt for someone very large.
It waved slowly with the air.

The yelling in the distance calmed to a voiceless hum
and then into silence.
All light was gone but for the stars

He peered into the darkness
and whispered “Mami, aqui.”

After a moment he used his elbows to prop up his
thin arms and spoke louder. The whole night he lay there hidden in the starlit scrubland,
listening carefully to the wind for an answer.

Aja reads "Borders":

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Aja confesses: "It is my firm belief that all Americans should be concerned with the harsh conditions people endure traveling north into the U.S. from South America. Thousands of people are known to have died trying to cross Arizona deserts in the past two decades and it is estimated that 24% of those now crossing the Southern border into America are under the age of 14."

AJA BEECH lives in Philadelphia, PA. Sometimes she work at a paper store, sometimes she is a freelance author, all of the time she is a mother to two sons. Some of the publications where her work can be found are at The Five-Two, Al Dia News, Apiary Magazine, Certain Circuits, Huffington Post, Incandescent Mind, WHYY Newsworks, and Twelve Winters Press. Articles about her work have appeared at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Generocity, Magazine, and The Philadelphia City Paper. Her poem, "for you women", was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2012. In 2010, she received a Leeway Art and Change Grant to compile an art and poetry chapbook concerned with the death penalty. In 2011, she was named a Creative Connector in Philadelphia.

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