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We have been fighting a war on this border For hundreds of years. We have been fighting the war so long That the war has become as invisible as the desert sands we Trample on. I do not know how long all this will continue. Peace Is like the horizon. We can see it in the distance But it is always far and we can never touch it. Every day In what passes for a newspaper in the city in which I live, someone writes a letter ranting against the use Of the Spanish language because this is America, and I can Taste the hate in the letter, can almost feel the spit In the letter writer’s mouth, and I know we could not Ever speak about this without one of us wanting to hurt The other in the city in which I live. I will tell you a sad story: White people are moving away From this city that has claimed my heart. They are running away From my people. They are running away from all that keeps Us poor. I want them to stay and fight. I want them To stay and live with my people. We have chased them Away. I want them to love the people who make the food They love. We have chased them awayare you happy? Are you Happy? And there are people waiting in line, spending Their fortunes just for a chance to enter, waiting, just blocks Away from where I sit, waiting to come over, waiting in Juarez Just to cross the river, from China and India and all the nations Of Africa and Central America and Asia. No poet, no engineer, no Politician, no philosopher, no artist, no novelist has ever Dreamed a solution. I am tired of living in exile. I am tired Of chasing others off the land. Let me say this again. Again. Again. I want, I want this war to end. To end. BENJAMIN ALIRE SAENZ, poet and novelist, was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in 1954. His first book of poems, Calendar of Dust, received an American Book Award in 1991. He was a Wallace Stegner Poetry Fellow at Stanford University and has won numerous other awards, including a Lannan Poetry Fellowship. He teaches in the Creative Writing Department Dreaming the End of War Observer. Naomi Shihab Nye AUGUST 11, 2006 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21