they said, "obviously you're going to college, right?"
as if college was something that was encouraged at home
as if being an immigrant from a working-poor context did not impede that possibility
as if my non-college educated parents even thought of that trajectory for me
as if I had been told that I could
as if I knew what that process even looked like

they said, "the government helps students like you"
as if I knew what FAFSA even was...
as if I understood how to even fill out those forms with all these complicated English terms I knew not how to translate for my parents
as if FAFSA is ever enough to cover your schooling

they said, "moving away is no big deal"
as if leaving the comfort of my mama's food felt optional, because you are what you eat and I was accustomed to food that was passed down generationally
as if marriage was not the first thing scripted onto my female body
as if the education of women was what my culture prioritized
as if I could afford moving

they said, "your future will be open to many more possibilities"
as if college graduates inherit the earth
as if debt versus money earned doesn't leave you right where you started
as if family connections have no impact on my inability to be employed

they said a lot of things
turns out they fuckin lied.