"Whose barrio is this?"

whose barrio is this?
the most expensive apartment
i’ve ever lived in
was a hundred year old triplex
leased to me by a white man
in a historically black neighborhood.
whose barrio is this?
armory park, dunbar-spring,
barrio viejo,
barrio santa rosa,
annie became anita.
for generations we have been swept up,
arranged, and sorted.
“this neighborhood is yours now.”
whose barrio is this?
ask the clay
in the adobe
who first fell in love
in the neighborhood.
let it explain
why their grandchildren,
or why their great-great-great
live somewhere else.
whose barrio is this?
ask the spirits
who whisper songs
at night.
these streets look nothing
like how they remember.
the people look different.
i think they cling onto the
clay in the dirt,
the sun’s blaze,
and the clouds of the monsoon.
whose barrio is this?
ask the ocotillo.
ask the creosote.
ask the nopales.they will all tell you the same thing.
land was never meant to have ownership
until it was stolen.
in the city of monsoons,
the river
named after the holy cross
has dried
from over ten years
of drought

– Eva Sierra

Gentrification Resources