April 14, 2013

wake your brown ass up | National Poetry Month

Just because your abuelitos came here
and (eventually) became legal
and had nice brown legal babies
that became your mamá and papá,
doesn’t mean your brown ass
doesn’t have a stake in immigration reform.

Even though you were born in this country,
you’re still an illegal.
Even though you espeak without an accent,
you’re still a wetback.
Even though you have white manteca legs,
you’re still a spic.

Don’t get me wrong, cariño,
go to work and do your best,
earn those raises and bonuses,
because living well is the best revenge.

But, mijo, don’t you dare ignore
your coworker’s comments
about the women
who serve you food,
who clean the restrooms,
who empty your wastebaskets,
the women who look like your tias,
or else you’ll suffer a fate worse
than that of la llorona.

It is not I who place this curse upon you, mi amor.
but rather the curanderas from your clan
whose whispers you dismiss
when they come to you at night.

No, you can’t sit this one out, pendejo


Hermanito, I’m not saying this to be mean,
I’m saying this to