¡Te odio! ¡Te amo!

Odio your dusty unpaved
streets and blistering days
of a never ending summer.

Amo tus fiery sunsets that tint
el cielo with burnished copper
streaked with peach and purple.

Odio the dry parched tierra
open cracks waiting for rain
like baby birds waiting for worms.

Amo the Depot bistrict con
sus stately mansions, decaying
dowagers remnants of a bygone era.

Odio la cloaca the Río Grande
has become…thick, fetid, murky
like the slop pails of long ago.

Amo the nearness of México
divided by a border,
united by our raíces.

Odio el downtown, what we have
made of it, an old harlot whose beauty
no amount of paint can bring back.

Amo las purple bougainvilleas,
whose vivid color
brightens patios all year round.

Odio los cadillos that
stick painfully to my bare feet
and the weeds that never die.

Amo your Tex-Mex culture
where hablar español
is an asset not a liability.

Odio the spray painted fences
zombied messages of decadent youth.

Pero more than anything Laredo,
amo your people,
mi gente, a pesar de sus defectos,
por sus muchas cualidades
que te aman y te odian como yo.