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“Clean, concise, clear –

Say the right thing.

Right way, no other way.”


Rethink, rewind, redo.

Say it out loud? Think it longer.

One way? Another way.


Some of this, some of that, somewhere between.

Say it now, how it is. Don’t deny

this way, my way.

Sing it with your voice, say it with your hands, sway it with your hips.

Give me the signal.

Do it now, do it naturally.


Don’t make me your example, excuse, lesson.

Don’t praise me, refute them.

Their way, our way.


Can’t say it, write it, express it?

Forget it? Switch. Switch back.

Ingles, Spanish. Switch it up.


Make it work, make them accept, make it real.

Don’t box me into their singularity.

Make it yours, make it both.

Channel, challenge, change.

Give me the signal.

I can do it all.

Lo puedo hacer todo.


This poem was inspired by Celia Alvarez’s testimonio, and also an earlier discussion we had in class about code-switching (primarily in reference to language in the poem, as well as culture).