El Salvadoreño

October 27, 2011
¿Qué quieren beber?
What you want to drink?

The small, worn-out woman
with tired eyes and dark hair asks us,
as we peel the laminated menus off of the plastic table.

Just ag-wah, says the Gringo who sits across from me.
I want to bury my face in my hands,
to slip down
down beneath the plastic table, and land anywhere else but here.

I look at the menu to avoid the stares,
to avoid the accusations directed at the plastic table like so many agujas,
so many piercing needles.
The tired woman comes back.
I’ll have… la car-nay con say-boyas,
the Gringo stumbles through his well-intentioned attempt.
Y yo también, I wish I were fluent.

We enjoy another culture,
and I try not to talk too loud.
I don’t want to be a tourist in my own city.

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beautifulspirit This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 3, 2012 at 7:26 am
Interesting~ That one would worry about sounding too gringo in their own city. I understand, and so many will be able to relate to this as well.
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