I Am From

I am from streetlights come on and it’s time to go inside,

grandparents watching Caso Cerrado,

mom’s car here to pick me up.


I am from llantas in the garage

that my grandpa will take to the garra this weekend,

burnt peppers in the kitchen, 

Friday car rides to garage sales.


I am from 6 o’clock means Wito is playing la guitarra in the basement,

Wita is praying in her room,

I am watching Selena for the 100th time, alone.


I am from Tala, Mexico.

A place I have only formally met once but have known my whole life.


I am from un Español muy rural,

cheese makers, 

nurses without degrees,


and musicians.


I am from whitewashed with the Latinos,

too ethnic to be understood by the whites.


I am from Catholic school has people thinking I’m rich,

but being Latina on a college campus must mean I am a PEOPLE scholar.


I am from you confuse people with your racial ambiguity

pero mi gente me pide ayuda en español.


Header image by Phoebe Nerem