The Source of Life

I am a flower planted in a desert
I long for water
Even if it’s just a drop
I need something to keep me alive
For I am the root of life
I am all that is beautiful in a world that is dry and vacant
I am the spice

But the world is against me
Why must I have been put here?
Of all places?
Where the rain never falls
I can literally feel my leaves crumbling
My petals falling and turning brown

I am the desert’s only option
I am their only source of life
Yet they deny me my basic needs
Who does the desert think he is?
Expecting a meadow filled with color and life
when I can’t even get some water
Not even a drop!
Yeah, right…

I am the creator here
His only source of life
Either the desert gives me something
Anything
Or I’ll die
and he’ll have nothing

Leave

Leave
he said
You are not welcome here
You are not wanted here
This land is my land
and my land only
since the day I stole it
from your people
The mass murdering and cultural dismantling of your people
Your people
are not welcome here
Leave
he said
You are not wanted here

I have tried to explain to him
I am from here
Es la tierra donde nací
I am more American than he’ll ever be
despite the ethnicity of my family.
This land is mine
The origin of where my people derived
And still he shouts
in the name of God
Leave

I’m tired
Y que pobre es mi historia
I search for a fire
but the torch has been extinguished
Leave
he says
You are not welcome here
You are not wanted here

Destroying the Patriarchy

The photo displayed is of me playing dominoes with my father, brother, and grandfather.  I remember being so happy in this photo because my family would never let me play with them.  Dominoes is a man’s game.

Since I was a little girl, I’ve always been considered a “tom-boy.”  I’ve never understood this term and how it was attaching me to a gender I didn’t identify with.  I identify as a woman, but this doesn’t mean that I have to follow feminist ideals.  Because of this, I’ve always tried to do anything that my dad and brothers did, while trying to maintain my identity.  I am a woman but not the woman that men want me to be.

I felt like this related a lot to the story of Lola Rodriguez  de Tio and the Puerto Rican Struggle for Freedom.  In her own little way, she is fighting against the patriarchy.  I am trying to do the same.

Latinidad?

Me dicen la gringa

Tambien la prieta

I don’t know who I am

Nor where I fit in

I’m mixed

I belong no where

In a community that is supposed to be united

Too much division exists

Latinidad?

I’m not always convinced…

I face a lack of understanding from each side

We are all Latinx

Yet both of my cultures remain subject to judgment

Me dicen la gringa

Tambien la prieta

I am none

And I am both

My Closure

 

My Closure

I guess I just want to tell you how you made me feel; how everything played out.

We were exclusive, you’re the one who wanted that. Who said that it would be like that.

You only admitted to as much you could get away with.

You claimed you felt bad, that being with more than one person was not something you did.

2 days later you said hello to her with me right there next to you.  No te importaba.

You tried so hard to hide your relation to her while simultaneously trying so hard to make her existence evident.

Everyone knew but me and you felt no guilt about it.

 

Regardless of whatever title we may have had or lacked, we were together.

Me and you,

You broke that…

You told me you were afraid of heartbreak…

but told everyone else you just wanted to fuck around.

When I felt paranoid about you not feeling the way you told me you felt, you made me feel crazy.

But I was right.

The

Whole

Time.

You never wanted me or ever cared for me but you tried to make me think otherwise.

You repeatedly lied to me and had no remorse.

 

That’s what hurt me. You made me believe.

I felt disrespected.

I still do.

But I don’t want to keep feeling like this

Like I have to go out of my way to hate you, ignore you, even hide from you.

Mi corazón nunca se ha sentido tan frío y espero el regreso de primavera.

I’ve never been the type of person to address my feelings.  Feelings scare me.

I haven’t addressed what happened with us and I’ve been trying to fill a void,

A void I shouldn’t even have because you did me so wrong.

I keep finding myself with guys that are just like you and I don’t want to do it anymore.

Tu eres ‪tóxico y yo no merecia tanto daño,

I’m here to get rid of that toxicity that has been in me for far too long.

 

I don’t want to be like my mami or my tias,

Constantly reliant upon a man

Never being able to escape,

Taking shit they don’t deserve because they have no other options.

That’s the one part of my cultura that I cannot retain.

I’m done with the machista bullshit.

Yo soy fuerte, inteligente, y no te necesito.

 

I decided to write about something I’ve been going through this past week and recently decided to address.  After reading the various narratives in This Bridge Called My Back, I started to notice a collection of issues that related to this.  They were not at the forefront of the themes these women were touching upon, but I still found them important.  Two issues that stood out to me were the issue of sexism by women to women and the differences in generations from mother to daughter.  I realized that I have always been taught to be inferior to men by everyone in my family, including the women.  More importantly, I have realized that my elders grew up in a different time period.  I have the opportunity and resources to separate myself from this ingrained sexism and push for the equality of myself and fellow women.