I grew up in Mexico listening to stories about a
Mythical place where braceros swept dollar bills 
With brooms. People often whispered the words,
El otro lado, as if it were an incantation. 
I grew up watching tíos, tías, primos, primas,
Leave their ranchitos to seek a better life. One
Aunt suddenly stopped receiving news from her
Only son after he left for California. She cried so 
Much that her eyes bulged like a frog's.  
 
I grew up without a father. He left for Houston
When I was five. "Aquí no hay nada, allá 
Hay mucho jale". One year, he stayed away for
So long, when he showed up, I was convinced
He was a robot, "Amá, ese no es Apá". 
I grew up feeling an intense dislike for María, a 
Female cousin, once we lived in the U.S. Each year, 
While visiting family, she would beg Dad to please 
Take her with us. "Ándele, tío, llevenme con ustedes"
He never did. Years later, she paid a coyote to cross her 
Illegally, married an old man with money, and built a brick
House for her mother. 
I grew up believing that everything was better in el
Otro lado. Americans had an easier life, and everyone
Was rich. Until I met Claudia, a young, blond girl
Wearing a faded dress, asking me for a quarter to buy
A soda at school. I heard a kid call her white trash.
I thought, "Están igual de fregados aquí que allá".
I grew up when every one of these myths was dispelled. 

Julieta Corpus' poetry has been included in various anthologies, such as Writing to Be Heard: Voices from the Chicho, STC's Interstice, and four Valley International Poetry Festival Boundless Anthologies, The Thing Itself, and the Texas Poetry Calendar. Julieta completed her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Texas Rio Grande in May 2016. Julieta is a bilingual translator and hosts poetry events throughout the Rio Grande Valley since 2009. 
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