I was created by a woman
Who suffered through third
grade not knowing a word of English
And by a man who fell off
his parent’s car port trying to shoot
his cousin with a plastic gun–
A five-year old cowboy
I grew up with Ella and Miles,
And Radio Disney
I grew up dancing to Andean music
In patterned wool fabric shawls
Tasting the cinnamon in Arroz
Con leche, eating Juicy Salteñas
And tater tots with kadjupy
I grew up playing dress up with
white girls and eating cupcakes
At their birthday parties
And then my own
America, I never had a quinceañera
Or have gone to my Mother’s native
Land or have learned to speak Spanish
You taught me to be afraid of dark-skinned girls
who looked at me, unsure of whether I looked like them
You taught me to forget about my “ethnic” background
Until Jessica Hernández
said she liked my bathing suit
In her thick Mexican-American accent
America, you have given me privilege
to feel comfortable in who I am
to be a strong, confident, young individual
So why do I feel rejected, paralyzed
More and more with every passing year?
Why do I feel flattered and infuriated
When I am asked What are you?
When I visit my dad’s side of the family and
My mom and I are the darkest ones
When I visit my mom’s side of family
And I am laughed at discretely for my “California” accent
And my Gringa looks?
Why did a black boy tell me to go back to Mexico in sixth
Grade? Why are there never any pictures of multi-ethnic
Families on billboards?
Why is it that you steal my voice and
Confidence when I walk
Into a classroom of only white and asian students?
Why is it that I am racist?
Oh, and America?
Can you please look in
Your Holy Bible and prove to me
That Jesus was white?
If so, do you think he would love
Me as much as you claim he loves you?