Atomized

As a conservative leader came to power at home, I chose America. Young people the world over loaned their futures to the state 2008 promised. The undocumented, too.

The noncitizen occupies a weird, beseeching plane of reality.

At moments like these—in the second after the explosion, ears ringing, bodies not yet counted—we are atomized. We feel alone in our trauma and dislocated from community. This specific shock (although all shocks have a lot in common) has shown how the groups we thought we were a part of (women with consciences, people on the left) are not actually there. Reach out to touch your allies and nobody is there. Inaccurate graphs and charts where citizens should have been.

The noncitizens are atomized too. Those of us with fresh documents (I have a strange impulse to laminate mine—or plate them in gold) have worked very hard to become a part of this country: paid in money, time, labor, loneliness. As a conservative leader came to power at home, I chose America. Young people the world over loaned their futures to the state 2008 promised. The undocumented, too.

The noncitizen occupies a weird, beseeching plane of reality. We want so badly to be here. A person cannot get arrested when they have spent their life savings petitioning to become a part of the state that would arrest them. We want so badly to be here. The noncitizen hovers near the explosion, hoping that her category of paperwork doesn’t get abolished by some unwatched bit of shrapnel leaving the area.

If you like this article, please subscribe to n+1.

Related Articles

December 22, 2014
The Folly of Mars
October 21, 2013

The things you hear are, “I want to hire him; he’s learned a very expensive lesson.” Or, “He’s proved he’s a risk taker.”

March 10, 2017
Descent into Liberalism
July 27, 2016
The Turning of Backs

More by this Author

June 8, 2015
It’s So Great Coming Home To Your Message
June 24, 2016