Pa’que tú lo sepas

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by Anonymous

 

“Es una niña”

They said in ’92

November 2-3

That first breath of air

And already I’m given an identity

Now I can’t be too mad

‘Cause after all

It’s the culture

Passed down from them to you

And on la isla del encanto

We been making

false assumptions

and naming shit

Since 1492

 

And that’s what doesn’t make sense

‘Cause now it’s ’93

And for some reason

My family thought

We had moved to the land of the free

And they swore up and down

This was better

There were opportunities

But if you ask me

I say we went from

The hood in paradise

To the hood with a price

 

And this price wasn’t worth it

It was a waste of money

At least that’s what I’d tell my mother

When she tried to buy me those dresses

But she just laughed

She thought it was funny

She asked me if I was a dude

I told her yes

Aren’t you listening

But she laughed

She ain’t think it was true

And I don’t know why

My voice wasn’t enough proof

I mean damn

Do you need a fucking doctor’s note, too?

’94

’95

’96

’97

Damn, God

Haven’t you heard me up there in Heaven?

Don’t you hear me begging

“Please God

Just make me a boy

I’m tired of abuelita telling me

I need to be a lady

I swear I’m not crazy

This just isn’t who I am”

But God never answered

I don’t know if he even listened

 

In the land of Uncle Sam

It’s not uncommon to be dismissive

Like when I was 10

And I told my mom

About how Papito gave me a kiss

And I don’t mean the type

On the lips

When you’re in the park

Gazing up at the stars

I mean the type of kiss

On the lips

That gets you thrown behind bars

 

Now age 12 was interesting

Cause that’s when I became royalty

And I know what you’re thinking,

This kid has got enough problems

But here in Trenton south side

It’s show your colors or die

And I couldn’t be a blood

Cause they didn’t like my brown pride

And honestly

I wasn’t equipped to be a crip

And I’m not putting on a disguise

And La Mara was the Devil

And at that time I still believed in God

 

So here I am

Inside an abandoned house

On the corner of Hamilton and South Broad

Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation

Just 30 seconds

Come on, nena

No trepidation

That word

Nena

Man, that shit makes me tick

I’m not a fucking girl

Because I have long hair and tits

 

But regardless

I still woke up

Three days later

With broken ribs and cuts

But apparently that didn’t matter

‘Cause now I was getting bucks

 

And honestly

I really never thought

I’d live passed 18

But now I’m 20

And supposedly

Living the American Dream

 

But that doesn’t mean

I’m not caught between two lives

In fact most days

I can’t even sleep

‘Cause I don’t know

how my family strives

 

Like how am I

Supposed to focus on this exam

When my family is

Surviving off nothing

But rice and yams?

 

And the weight of these two lives

Really feels like a thousand bricks

And does nothing but fuel

My leftist rhetoric

 

And in this world obsessed with identity politics

I’m a transnational

Transgender

Boricua Marxist

And if all this seems new to you

And the idea has got you shook

I’m sorry to say

But I don’t think you’ve read

Enough books

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