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Poem-A-Week

"Live Happy" in Santa Ana
Marilynn Montano

92704
92703
92701
In a zipcode where family over everything comes first
In a zipcode where children run around the laundry mat as they wait for their parents to finish folding
In a zipcode where gunshots are common at night
In a zipcode where students are moving their pencils back and forth so they can walk graduation
In a zipcode where the mornings flood with car traffic por que el trabajo llama and you got to get to school
In a zipcode where mothers with strollers are rushing to get their children on time
In a zipcode where the city does not invest enough of resources for families to thrive
In a zipcode where rent is too high
In a zipcode where rent is paid with more than one income
In a zipcode where the outside is only taken care of by a landlord than the inside
In a zipcode where more than one family live in an apartment
In a zipcode where carne asada gatherings and birthdays take place at Jerome Park


In a zipcode where mental illness is not talked about enough
In a zipcode where the donut shop is a safe space for apa
In a zipcode where a recreational site for cops is prioritized than a public library
In a zipcode where drugs and alcohol are a coping mechanism for inter generational trauma
In a zipcode where theories do not do it
In a zipcode where families know where to go to turn their collected cans for money that will help for a meal or a utility bill
In a zipcode where there is a liquor store at every corner
In a zipcode where you can find cheap chow mein and tacos

In a zipcode where the gente stretch a couple dollars
In a zipcode where despite the unspoken traumas we all carry, you can count on exchanging laughs and recipes at the laundry mat
In a zipcode where karmeces take place to take care of each other
In a zipcode where you see gente living despite the obstacles
In a zipcode where you can not judge by how “dangerous” it looks like because that is home
In a zipcode where my ama’s hoarding is unspoken pain and memories
92704
92703
92701

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Marilynn Montaño is a first-generation Chicana writer and artist from Santa Ana, CA. Montaño is a proud daughter of migrant parents from Puebla, Mexico. Montaño enjoys cold brew coffee, thrifted cardigans and Sanrio. Instagram: @mydeditos