Orchids on a Sill

The orchids on my windowsill

Don’t know the world

On the other side of the glass is shattering.

Their velvet, white and purple petals

Don’t know

That outside we can’t touch

The faces of our loved ones.

That I haven’t held the

Hand of the person…

A Different Oral Argument

Today, November 12, the US Supreme Court

is hearing oral arguments on DACA.

Arguments on whether this pro-life


Will let me keep the life

I lead.

I don’t want to argue.

I don’t want to talk to them.

The only people I want to talk…


Guadalajara fue mi primer amor, 
Tender and head dive first.
And like all first loves it was never in the middle,
It was angry either like the hard, rapturous rain,
Or smooth and gold like the syrup of sweet potatoes sliding 
off a toddler's face

She consumed me the…

The people I love best
[In honor of Marge Piercy]

Are women

Strong like wire,
Bending when necessary
Curving without breaking.
They are soft like the earth,
Hiding life within them.

They are
Women who lounge on couches, without bras,
Drinking wine
And laughing too loudly.
Women in courtrooms
Wearing gavels, and suitcases.
They don't just want a seat at the table.
They want the whole table.

The people I love best are

Women who cry in each
Other’s arms.
All hips, music, and wisdom smelling
Like sage and garlic.
They raise babies on hope and courage.
They raise each other on kindness and power.

The people I love best are

Women who care for each
Other like our survival depended on it.
The people I love best know that it does.

Sometimes my heart

Figures out the translation

And it all goes to hell

I learned yesterday

That guanavana

A sweet, juicy,

Fruit with green skin and black seeds

Is called soursop

Excuse me,


Pull your head out of your ass,

Stop trying to become great again

And figure out that

Guanavana is neither



A sop.

Sometimes in boring

routine of the

white-english language

I will remember a word

in Spanish that used to mean

something to me

And I do not know

the english translation

I pause





My heart isn’t american

But my throat has jumped ship, and boasts english rhetoric as if I knew all the

words in the dictionary, with right diction, and grammar, and syntax, and

with the useless ability to tell you the difference between who and whom

My throat swallows

all the periods and commas,

but spits out the accents,

and english is so dull that

not even decorations on top of vowels

could make me swoon

and melt and dance

Sometimes I remember words

in Spanish

that I haven’t learned to translate

and this makes me feel like

my heart is still whole.

Still brown.


Trying to remember you

is like playing back film previews

in my head.

All the images blend together

and at the end I can’t separate

which moment goes to each scene.

My heart stores

what my head can’t remember

in order to feel like I know you.

Like we…

The Right Way

If I had a dollar for every person
Who has told me to ‘wait in line’
For a greencard, I would have
Enough dollars to buy

a pizza. But no, in all seriousness,
Maybe I could afford two or three... …

I wear my faith quietly,

like a pebble in my pocket

Smooth and cold,

Comforting when I hold it tight in my hand.

But to be more honest,

I wear my faith secretly, cautious of who

to tell the truth because

I’m not sure how my circle

of liberal, leftists…

Maria Ibarra-Frayre

Writer, feminist, unapologetically undocumented.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store