for teens, by teens

Canvas Teen Literary Journal is published quarterly in print, ebook, web, video, and audio formats.

I Have Committed an
Unspeakable Crime

Karen Soriano

I have committed an unspeakable crime;
something so horrendous, so terrifying,
that not even I could see the gravity of my mistakes.
I now know the truth and
hold this crucial secret close to my breast.

I watch the tears roll down my mother’s face
which I cannot help but feel I have caused. 
Every morning I stretch my limbs as far as they will go,
spread myself paper-thin.
I work until my hands shake,
my eyes go bloodshot from exhaustion
just to see her pain end; 
to make up for my gruesome mistakes.

I have committed an unspeakable crime.
I speak in this poisonous foreign tongue
that embodies my passions and my beliefs, 
yet it is not mine.
My lusts, my loves, my yearnings: 
all ripped from within me.
My eyes are forced open,
doors are quickly slammed in my face. 
I am a monstrosity. 
Hope, learning and light:
all eradicated from my vocabulary
as I was lead to see what I had done. 

I have committed an unspeakable crime.
Air escapes from my lungs
I find I can no longer breathe. 
Time is running out. 
They have discovered my secret. 
I try to run and claw but it is no use. 
This invisible enemy holds me back
demanding I pay insurmountable fees for my actions.
There is nowhere to go. 

It is time I faced my crimes.
I have done the worst possible thing anyone could ever do: 
I was born in a land, 
just beyond the invisible line drawn by man. 
I am different, deformed, useless. 
I may feel like everyone else
look like everyone else
but by no means am I the same. 
Oh this curse, this crime I have done.

I smile, I feel, and I laugh
but this secret is no longer mine. 
I have committed the unspeakable crime
of being born beyond that invisible line.
Oh America, land of the free, how could I betray thee.

Karen Soriano has resided in Miami since she was seven and is currently in possession of a student visa. She is facing the struggle of being a Mexican immigrant and is trying to express her feelings and emotions through her greatest passion: English. 

© Canvas Literary Journal 2016
Writers & Books
Rochester, NY