Cover Photo: Photograph courtesy of  Amy Bench
Photograph courtesy of Amy Bench

When Sleeping in the Room with a Dead Body Is Your Best Option

I do not want to be tire. My life is tire.

By E.L.

As told to Jessica Goudeau


I do not want to be tire. My life is tire. sometimes I prefer no to live and disappear myself.

We are having a quiz today. We are going to disect a rat today again which is horrible.

Things are getting bad this last days. They need to get better instead it is bad. I do not like my grades to go down but perhaps I do not care.

Why! Why? We have to know people that support us. But then they are gone. gone. Why people that we like have to leave us. I want to stop thinking about this and continue with my life. That is better. I think perhaps continue with my little life.


E.L.’s story is featured in the animated documentary “A Line Birds Cannot See” and she is currently working on a memoir. Because she and her relatives live with the worry of deportation, her name and a few identifying details have been withheld at her request.

Jessica Goudeau is the author of AFTER THE LAST BORDER (Viking 2020), a narrative nonfiction book about refugee resettlement in the US. She has written for The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Teen Vogue, The Los Angeles Times, and other places. She has a PhD in Poetry and Translation Studies from the University of Texas. In most of her writing, she partners with displaced people to tell their stories with dignity while protecting their identities. Find out more: and @jessica_goudeau