Groundbreaking Study Confirms

Nobody sleeps better than white people
studies say
with white pillows and dreams
not deferred

No one sleeps better than white people
not waiting for hell
or boot or calls from jail.
Not thinking of long
drives down Texas highways
Texas rangers and border patrol,
having to paint smiles on
proving you are American enough
traffic stops and keep your hands on the wheel

No one sleeps better than white people
and the white woman who said
I wasn’t Mexican enough to know
la lengua Española,
how many years
had it been since I’d been down to Mexico,
she asked
Ten maybe
since my dad saw his friends strung
up in trees
and he says they are killing
everyone with lenguas like ours
when they found bodies in pits
he went to give DNA samples
to see if our people
our cousins
were among them
he couldn’t stop telling me this,
the story of the bodies
and I couldn’t sleep
for weeks I silently pray
he won’t tell me which primo or prima
has been taken and that hell
is a vapor tethered in my sleep
and studies say race and ethnicity
correlate with dreams
but also bean counting
and paths of Medicaid requests for
authorization of continued care letters
line the cobwebs of dream clouds
earlier tonight under a halo moon
remembering grief and lovers’ sheets
I thought of sleep
or release or safety
This elusive idea while
we drown

Noemi Ixchel is a queer crip poet-curandera mixed media artist, writer, historian and cultural worker with Mexican and Caribbean roots.