The jefe of the maras thought I was pretty. He wanted me to be his wife, but I was already married. I didn’t like him. He was scary and always sent his soldados to our house to check on me. My husband said, “If we stay in El Salvador, they are going to steal you and kill me.” So we took the nenas, even though they’re still babies, and came here.
Abigail Carl-Klassen’s work has appeared in ZYZZYVA, Catapult, Cimarron Review, Guernica, Willow Springs, Aster(ix) Huizache, and Kweli, among others, and is anthologized in IMANIMAN (Aunt Lute), New Border Voices (Texas A&M University Press) Goodbye Mexico: Poems of Remembrance (Texas Review Press) and Outrage: A Protest Anthology for Injustice in a 9/11 World (Slough Press). She earned an MFA from the University of Texas El Paso’s Bilingual Creative Writing Program and taught at El Paso Community College and the University of Texas El Paso. She is a staff writer with Poets Reading the News and her chapbook Shelter Management is now available from dancing girl press.

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