[an error occurred while processing this directive] Yo Soy
by Karisma Rodriguez, 20, UCLA English major

Puerto Rican's aren't Mexican
And Mexican's aren't Cubans
One comes from a democracy
The other's a “territory”
And that one's a commie
But they are all alive in me

And they are all “America”
America's in me

You shake your head
And laugh your arrogance at me
It's your ignorance
You must have the word confused
With the Untied States
Don't be so quick to judge
My terminology as hate
It is my home
The only one I know
But that doesn't mean
I'll let a country steal the continent's show

Back to the races now
Back to where we grew from, and how

They talk of their families
Particular to their culture
Mother and father's religions
Whose is older?
But no one baptized me
I'm a “free thinker”
Not a soldier

And if you smelled the comida
You'd know you were home
I'll take the taquitos, fajitas
Tostadas sin carnitas
Just…no meat, please!

I'm a vegetarian
I've got ideals
For reals, man
Some things I can't condone

What's a Latina sin carne?
A green Latina!
A tree-hugging,

Wow, that's clever
But here's something even better

What's a Latina without familia?
There's the question that unsettles.

A foster care
Ex welfare
Veggie chompin
English talkin
White skinned
Thinly trimmed
Ghetto living
Hard look giving

I'm a mess

A winner
A failure

A question
“An exception”

A fighter who cries
And a looser who laughs

A writer who dances in two tongues
And then sticks out her lengua

A student forever I'll be
Long after the University graduates me

A performer
A reformer
Anything I want to be
Latinismo's in me.

[ Back to Voices! Index ]

[an error occurred while processing this directive]