Whitewashed Vida This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

May 30, 2010
En Ingles por favor.
Alto. Peligro. Agua. Hola.
Speak in our gray language, they say.

Música. Vida. Comida. Familia.
Language the color of jalapeños; shining brilliant, soulful, musical, familiar.
Speak in our whitewashed language, they say.
But don't we speak the same language, just doing different dances?

You do the foxtrot, I do the tango,
But the same words come from our heart-shaped lips?
Maybe it's my ears, perhaps my
Tongue. But we're the same in my eyes.
My colorblind eyes, both our songs hold the same beat.

Colores diferentes, mismos corazones.
Different colors, hearts the same.
Shining, shimmering, splendid colors shivering together:
Spicy, picante. Caliente, hot.
They're all yellow-bellied proxies for a country scared
Of the words of change.

Open your mouth.
Let the words the color of chili peppers with the sounds of
Samba fall from your lips like little diamonds.
Speak up with the strength of 330 million people on your side.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

squalur996 said...
Jan. 18, 2011 at 5:52 pm
I just have to say I read this in the magazine and I thought it was amazing.  It is beautiful poetry and feels absolutely true and colorful and wonderfully written. Continue writing!!!  I quite liked when you were using peppers and jalapenos as a comparison, it made it flavorful and more vivid and bright.
Site Feedback