The Dream Houses

By Taylor Fang
11th grade, Logan High School, UT

With lines from "The Dream Homes of Guatemalan Migrants" by Jonathan Blitzer, a Pulitzer Center reporting project

In this country of thunder
and green fruit,
there are more houses
than people.

In this country
of maps, every path
leads away. Every path
traces a corkscrew, spiraling
into piles of wood,
cinder blocks,
and rubble.

We search for homes
in every direction.
Our hands blooming
into roses, searching
for strength.
Our homes
half built,
abandoned. Finished
but uninhabited.

There's a point
at which people
start to lose hope.

like a sliver
of the river breeze.
Cayó en el vicio.
like the crushed yucca
that threads away
from our grasp,
the maize sifting
through our fingers.

We Will Help You Construct
The House
of Your Dreams,

they said.

But what were our dreams
in America?
Land of solitude.
Land of designer jeans
and shiny red cars.
To show the trip
was worth it.

To protect ourselves
in case
of deportation.
To have a home
to come back to.

In the dirt streets
and sloping hills of Cajolá,
we laid roots,
layered brick.

Foreign language
of wire, eyes red-rimmed
from searching.
We followed the path
of birds,
babies cradled
on the valleys
of our hips.

de remesa

left behind,
with their own stories.

to their dreams:
shingled roofs, drop ceilings,
of colored glass.

In this country
of war paint
and wings,
we hope to return.
In this country
of empty houses,
every top floor
to the sky.

Taylor Fang
Taylor Fang

Taylor Fang is a rising senior in high school from Utah. Her poetry appears in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Cargoes, Aerie International, and Rookie Magazine, among others, and has been recognized by the New York Times and Poetry Society of the United Kingdom.

Read more winning entries from the 2019 Fighting Words Poetry Contest